LADIO Ana Haydee
Traditional horticultural knowledge change in a rural population of the Patagonian steppe
EYSSSARTIER, CECILIA; LADIO A H; LOZADA, M
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2011 vol. 75 p. 78 - 86
We investigated traditional horticultural knowledge related to plant species cultivated inhomegardens in an arid rural population of North-western Patagonia, Argentina. By means of semi-structured interviews and field visits to the cultivated areas we analyzed floristic composition and structure of: vegetable-gardens, greenhousesand gardens.We evaluated species richness, cover andbiogeographical origin in each cultivated area and analyzed the influence of socio-cultural factors, such as age and gender, on informants cultivation practice. A total of 124 species was found: 75 species in vegetable-gardens, 63 in greenhouses and 68 in gardens. In all cultivated areas, most plant species (91%) were exotic and mainly used for edible purposes. Plant richness inhomegardens increased with informants age and bothmenandwomenplay a relevant role in the maintenance of cultivated areas. Traditional knowledge in this community has been suffering an erosion process, which is in part influenced by the intervention of extension agents. However, their presence creates the possibility of integrating new and ancestral practices, favoring development of knowledge of a hybrid, syncretic nature. Alongside these changes, Pilcaniyeu inhabitants still maintain traditional homegardens cultivation, through which we can appreciate the intricate relationship between people and their physical, historical, cultural and spiritual contexts.