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Tradition, Dynamics and Sustainability of Plant Species Composition and Management in Homegardens on Organic and Non-Organic Small Scale Farms in Alpine Eastern Tyrol, Austria

Vogl, C. R. and Vogl-Lukasser, B. (2003) Tradition, Dynamics and Sustainability of Plant Species Composition and Management in Homegardens on Organic and Non-Organic Small Scale Farms in Alpine Eastern Tyrol, Austria. Journal for Biological Agriculture and Horticulture, 21 (4), pp. 349-366.

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Summary

In Eastern Tyrol (Austria), homegardens are an integral part of the farming system. The aim of this paper is to present evidence for the development of gardening in the study area and to identify differences/similarities between gardens at organic and non-organic farms. In 1997 and 1998, in homegardens on 91 organic and 105 non-organic farms from 12 communities, occurrence and abundance of cultivated plant species were surveyed and interviews were carried out about garden history, management and plant use. For the factor organic/non-organic, differences between gardens were statistically tested. Garden management is similar in organic/non-organic gardens, except mixed cropping and the use of alternative remedies to combat diseases, both with significantly higher occurrence on organic farms. Popular innovations from organic farming did not have a strong and clearly visible impact on management of homegardens. The population of cultivated plant species, until the 1960s approx. 51; nowadays approx. 587 species in all gardens, and main use of garden produce has been in a process of change with an increase in importance of species used as food and for decoration, but with no significant differences concerning organic/non-organic. Women farmers gardening in Eastern Tyrol are highly sympathetic to the principles of organic farming, even on non-organic farms. Sustainability can be increased when methods from organic gardening are promoted and tested locally more effectively. Science and policy should recognize the work of women farmers who maintain homegardens with high agrobiodiversity as part of their culture.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:homegardens, management, species, tradition, Tyrol
Subjects: Crop husbandry
Research affiliation: Austria > Univ. BOKU Wien > Sustainable Agr. Systems - IfÖL
Deposited By: Vogl, Prof. Dr. Christian Reinhard
ID Code:6931
Deposited On:30 Jan 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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