Vietnamese Americans and Their Food Gardens

By Roy Vu

978-1-64843-185-2 Paperback
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
280 pp. 12 color, 36 b&W photos. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 07/15/2024
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  • Paperback $30.00

Home gardens, in addition to providing sustenance and satisfaction, embody a sense of self identity. In this groundbreaking work on Vietnamese foodways, Farm-to-Freedom: Vietnamese Americans and Their Food Gardens brings to light how the Vietnamese diasporic population in Texas uses gardens literally and figuratively to set down roots in a new country.

These gardens, often hidden in plain sight, establish the seat of Vietnamese immigrant culture, according to author Roy Francis Vũ. They can also offer Vietnamese Americans an empowering pathway to forging a new homeland duality by retaining ties to the foods and environs they drew comfort from in Vietnam.

Farm-to-Freedom uses the concept of emancipatory foodways as a lens into gardens that serve a semi-palliative purpose by succoring the experienced tragedies of war and exile for Vietnamese immigrants and Vietnamese Americans, which arguably adds another dimension to the importance of the home garden. Vũ covers topics including but not limited to culinary citizenship, food democracy, culinary justice, and food sovereignty. Farm-to-Freedom reveals how these gardens not only provide those who tend them a greater sense of security and agency in an unfamiliar land but also give them the means to preserve and expand Vietnamese cuisine for themselves while simultaneously enriching food culture in the United States.

With a wealth of original oral histories, community-based recipes and poetry, and photographs of home gardens in suburban and urban settings, Farm-to-Freedom provides a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese diaspora in Texas for scholars, professionals, and general readers alike.

Gideon Lincecum Nature and Environment Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press