“Somos del Campo”: Latino and Latina Gardeners and Farmers in Two Rural Communities of Iowa — A Community Capitals Framework Approach
Keywords:Latinos, Latinas, Immigrants, Community Gardens, Beginning Farmers, Community Capitals Framework, Iowa
AbstractUsing the Community Capitals Framework approach, this study describes what makes it possible for Latinos and Latinas to become gardeners and beginning farmers in two rural Iowa communities. Four in-depth interviews were carried out in Denison, Iowa, and four in Marshalltown, Iowa, with Latino and Latina gardeners and beginning farmers participating in community gardening and farming programs. I used participant observation in people’s homes and garden plots to understand the meaning of gardening and farming among Latinos. Human, cultural, and social capitals are essential elements in the success of Latino gardeners. The interaction between these three capitals mobilizes other community capitals to improve household well-being. These Latinos bring to their new gardening and farming efforts their previous knowledge of agriculture, fresh food, and how to cook it from their countries of origin and other parts of the U.S. Recommendations center on how to strengthen the most critical community capitals.
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