• Cultivating Community: Social Networks, Gardening, and Community Resilience in the Sonoran Desert

      Austin, Diane E.; Kokroko, Kenneth Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      This research seeks to identify, describe, and understand community as it is expressed in the local and urban gardening sphere of Tucson, Arizona. Underlying this effort is the ethnographic intent to qualitatively document and explore whether, and ultimately how, members or components of the social network interact. The relevance of this research lies not only in better understanding how people experience community in specific contexts, but also in its aim to demonstrate that both physical and virtual relationships - virtual referring to a conceptualized essence or effect not manifest in concrete appearance or form - contribute to the development, manifestation, and common ownership of communities. Gardening-related and support-oriented resources and spaces in Tucson - namely the Seed Library of the Pima County Public Library and Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm - served as field sites for this research and represent vertices which link subgroups physically and virtually within the social network itself. Importantly, examining the synergy characterizing relations between members and components of the network aids efforts to qualitative describe the community’s resilience.