UBC Undergraduate Research

The integration of the Chinese market gardens of southern British Columbia, 1885-1930 Yu, Jeffrey


This article examines the history of Chinese integration into the small-scale hand-cultivation of a variety of fruits and vegetables grown for local consumption, otherwise known as market gardening, in Southern British Columbia. Racism and discriminatory regulations restricted employment opportunities and relegated the Chinese to occupations deemed ‘menial’ – market gardening, domestic service, and peddling. As the Chinese presence grew within these ‘menial’ occupations, the interrelated relationships between such occupations reinforced one another to allow for the Chinese to achieve market dominance in market gardening by the 1920s. Despite opposition from Euro-Canadians expressed through restrictive regulations on the agricultural trade, the supporting occupations of domestic service, peddling, and green grocer and the formation of associations had coalesced by the late 1920s to entrench the Chinese into a solidified position in the market gardening industry.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada