Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Science (MASc)


Civil Engineering


B.W. Baetz




Southern Ontario residents are faced with many challenging decisions when growing their own food. The intention of my research is to help these urban residents plan their garden plot in order to yield food for their own use. The form of this research will be a thesis incorporating a decision support system (DSS). This DSS is intended to take in and determine relevant site characteristics (latitude, sun/shade conditions) and use this information to help the user choose a variety of vegetables and herbs. Users will have the option of making a simplified model of their property and nearby structures for shade analysis, and with the results select an appropriate area(s) of their land. This DSS will give the user the freedom to pick vegetables based on conditions and preferences and give graphical and tabular output of the garden layout and details.

The objectives of this thesis is to present the why, what, who, where, and how of going beyond local food production for urban consumption to urban citizens growing their own food for themselves. This food can be consumed but also used as a currency with which to barter for other yard produce from neighbours or community members. One could imagine having a bartering relationship with a neighbour or having a weekly or monthly food market to facilitate bartering. This DSS is intended to be one of the building blocks of a food network DSS, which would be used to increase the efficiency of sharing food produced in urban residential gardens (that have been planned using the following DSS prototype).

McMaster University Library

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