Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Studies


Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern

Second Advisor

Richard Welsh


Cultural Reproduction;Food and Culture;Garden;Technical Knowledge


For members of the Nepali community living in Syracuse, New York, gardening and other foodway practices, like communal food preparation, reaffirm a sense of communal belonging. To be able to cultivate, collect, and consume culturally relevant food allows members of the Syracuse Nepali community to maintain a connection to generational foodways that nourish their bodies and spirits. The notion of an “authentic” Nepali cuisine is not present, instead what is centered in home gardens and within communal food preparation spaces is the individual, reflexive capacity to garden and to cook. The Syracuse Nepali community has built the capacity to utilize produce cultivated in far warmer climates in the depths of a Central New York winter through harvest preservation and through the global food system. Despite the capability of the ethnic market to provide tropical foodstuffs year-round, the home garden remains an irreplaceable aspect of the Nepali community in Syracuse because of the agency that a garden provides a individuals, families, and communities, during the growing season. The technical knowledge needed for the cultural reproduction of Nepali foodways are matters of individual creativity and commensality with peers. In the Syracuse Nepali community, the garden is a space that mediates the environmental difficulties of remembering a 365-day growing season and living in an environment with winters almost 150 days long.


Open Access



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