"Somos del campo". Latino/a gardeners and farmers in two rural communities of Iowa. A Community Capitals Framework approach.

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2010-01-01
Authors
Thompson, Diego
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Cornelia Flora
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Sociology
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Sociology
Abstract

Using the community capital framework, this study describes what makes it possible for Latinos to become gardeners and beginning farmers in two rural Iowa communities. Four in-depth interviews were carried out in Denison and four in Marshalltown with Latino/a gardeners and beginning farmers participating in 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, social, and cultural capitals are essential elements for Latino gardeners to succeed. The interaction between these three capitals mobilizes other community capitals to improve household well-being. These Latinos bring to their new gardening and farming 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 mobilize the most critical community capitals.

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