Human Social and Cultural Capitals among Latino Gardeners in Denison and Marshalltown, Iowa
This paper explores different community capitals among Latinos participating in community gardens and farmer starter programs in Denison and Marshalltown, Iowa. Using the community capital framework, this study describes what makes it possible for Latinos to become gardeners in two rural Iowa communities and the circumstances that facilitate the process. For the methodology of this study, four in-depth interviews were carried out in Denison and four in Marshalltown, with Latino gardeners who have different backgrounds and purposes for their participation in farming. In addition, participatory observation at people's homes and garden plots was used to understand the programs. This research analyzes how human, social, and cultural capitals are essential elements for Latino gardeners and how the interaction between this three capitals build the structure for their motivation to become farmers, be civically engaged, and have access to food. This study also describes how the participants have previous knowledge related to agriculture, fresh food and local marketing, which is a result of not only their original countries, but also as a consequence of their migration patterns among rural communities in the US. This study concludes with some recommendations for Latino gardener programs and initiatives.