Pushing the boundaries of indigeneity and agricultural knowledge: Oaxacan immigrant gardening in California

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30 Scopus citations


This article explores a community garden in the Northern Central Coast of California, founded and cultivated by Triqui and Mixteco peoples native to Oaxaca, Mexico. The practices depicted in this case study contrast with common agroecological discourses, which assume native people's agricultural techniques are consistently static and place-based. Rather than choose cultivation techniques based on an abstract notion of indigenous tradition, participants utilize the most appropriate practices for their new environment. Garden participants combine agricultural practices developed in Oaxaca with those learned while working on California farms. Through the process of community gardening, immigrants find a new interpretation of their own shifting indigenous identity, based on culinary and agrarian practices in a new place. Additionally, they form solidarities between historic ethnic divides of Triqui and Mixteco, based on newfound commonalities in the garden. This case study provides an important example of the current articulation, construction, and deployment of indigeneity in the context of migration and agriculture, and its implications for immigrant opportunities and futures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-392
Number of pages12
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Community gardens
  • Identity politics
  • Immigration
  • Indigeneity
  • Traditional agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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