The psycho-social benefits of backyard and community gardening among immigrants
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The objectives of this study are to provide a phenomenological understanding of the impact of the relationships between people (in this case, immigrants) and their gardens, and to gain a better understanding of how the immigrant experience and gardening are connected. Feminist research methodology guided the study, using semi-structured interviews as a means to interact with participants. There are several reasons, both environmental and psycho-social, why gardening is beneficial. Some reasons include improved nutrition, lower costs for produce, enhancement of the environment, improved health through exercise, and stress reduction. Furthermore gardens create space for social engagement and provide means for individuals, especially those not native to an area, to maintain parts of their culture through recreating familiar landscapes and cultivating culturally-relevant foods. Finally, this research seeks to destabalize the culture/nature binary by illustrating how the two are connected and similar, in the sense that they can both be constructed and performed.