Gardening as tool to foster health and cultural identity in the context of international migration: Attitudes and constraints in a female population

A. C. Bellows, G. V. Alcaraz, T. Vivar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Food production, procurement, and consumption represent daily practices and learned knowledge that are embedded in daily life and food environments of distinct and overlapping cultures and traditions. These practices and knowledge, often gendered, evolve to preserve community and individual health, and in their reiterative forms, they contribute in shaping cultural identity. Migration disturbs habits of geographic particularity and familiar social networks: the environment of food practices and knowledge changes, including food production for home consumption. This study presents results from a community diet, health, and food practices (i.e., gardening) survey conducted with 30 Oaxaca, Mexico-born women with children under 18 who migrated to New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA and 30 female family counter-parts still living the State of Oaxaca in Mexico. Results show that NB migrants engage in fewer gardening activities than the Oaxacan counterparts, perceive themselves to be less knowledgeable and confident about gardening, and report a lack of sufficient space for this activity. In general, the majority of respondents in both groups held positive attitudes towards gardening on its relation to physical exercise, the fun derived from it, and its perception as source of fresh and healthy food. About three-quarters of the NB group indicated their desire to garden as it reminds them of Mexico. The promotion of home gardening on the Mexican migrant community in New Brunswick could have positive effects on the general health of the immigrants, on their food security status, and on their social and cultural environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationII International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Pages785-792
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789066056435
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 25 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
Volume881
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

Keywords

  • Food environment
  • Food production
  • Traditional knowledge
  • Urban agriculture
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gardening as tool to foster health and cultural identity in the context of international migration: Attitudes and constraints in a female population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Bellows, A. C., Alcaraz, G. V., & Vivar, T. (2010). Gardening as tool to foster health and cultural identity in the context of international migration: Attitudes and constraints in a female population. In II International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture (pp. 785-792). (Acta Horticulturae; Vol. 881). International Society for Horticultural Science. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.881.129