© 2017

Chinese Market Gardening in Australia and New Zealand

Gardens of Prosperity


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 1-22
  3. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 23-53
  4. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 55-93
  5. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 95-124
  6. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 125-161
  7. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 163-224
  8. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 225-265
  9. Joanna Boileau
    Pages 267-273
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 275-327

About this book


This book offers a fresh perspective on the Chinese diaspora. It is about the mobilisation of knowledge across time and space, exploring the history of Chinese market gardening in Australia and New Zealand. It enlarges our understanding of processes of technological change and human mobility, highlighting the mobility of migrants as an essential element in the mobility and adaptation of technologies. Truly multidisciplinary, Chinese Market Gardening in Australia and New Zealand incorporates elements of economic, agricultural, social, cultural and environmental history, along with archaeology, to document how Chinese market gardeners from subtropical southern China adapted their horticultural techniques and technologies to novel environments and the demands of European consumers. It shows that they made a significant contribution to the economies of Australia and New Zealand, developing flexible strategies to cope with the vagaries of climate and changing business and social environments which were often hostile towards Asian immigrants.

Chinese Market Gardening in Australia and New Zealand will appeal to students and scholars in the fields of the Chinese diaspora, in particular the history of the Chinese in Australasia; the history of technology; horticultural and garden history; and environmental history, as well as Asian studies more generally.


chinese market gardening Australia New zealand technology transfer horticultural

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarAucklandNew Zealand

About the authors

Joanna Boileau is a historian living in New Zealand. She has worked in museums and on cultural heritage projects in Australasia. She has a PhD in history from the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, and a Masters in archaeology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Chinese Market Gardening in Australia and New Zealand
  • Book Subtitle Gardens of Prosperity
  • Authors Joanna Boileau
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-51870-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-84765-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-51871-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 327
  • Number of Illustrations 18 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of China
    Australasian History
    Labor History
    Environmental Geography
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Joanna Boileau’s book offers a rare and much needed look at the environmental history of Chinese diasporic agriculture. Exploring the place that Chinese market gardeners made for themselves in both Australia and New Zealand, this fascinating, expertly researched book uses both physical and documentary evidence to show how immigrant Chinese gardeners (and their descendants) adapted their agricultural techniques to help them thrive as agriculturists in the varied ecological, social, and commercial settings of Australia and New Zealand. This compelling story offers valuable insights into the mobility of people, knowledge and skills in the context of migration.” (Suzanne M. Moon, Department of the History of Science, University of Oklahoma, USA)