In our research we were wondering what purpose do the allotment gardens serve. In three years, several researchers from different specializations were talking with the gardeners from Kraków, Katowice and Wrocław. They were taking photos, recording, filling the notebooks pages. More than once they would grab a hoe and taste the crops. The fruit of their work is a book with essays, scientific papers and artistic projects that show different aspects of the allotment garden life. The multitude of threads included here may make somebody dizzy: from historic context of the origins of the idea of the allotment garden, through legal issues concerning the land ownership and the unequal battle the gardeners fight with the stronger developers, the reflection on the role and kinds of plants cultivated in the allotment garden (and this, what the gardeners themselves talk and think about it), the issues of the allotment inventions and the inspiration that artists draw from the allotments,up to purely existential issues related to the memory, presence, loneliness and time passing.

It is impossible to say in a nutshell the purpose of the allotment gardens. After the reading of the book however, it is possible to imagine what would happened, if they suddenly disappeared. “Work-allotment” is the invitation to a new way of thinking about the allotments and to enter the new paths, that are unknown to many of us.