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A huerta (Spanish: [ˈweɾta]) or horta (Catalan: [ˈɔɾta], Portuguese: [ˈɔɾtɐ]), from Latin hortus, "garden", is an irrigated area, or a field within such an area, common in Spain and Portugal, where a variety of vegetables and fruit trees are cultivated for family consumption and sale. Typically, individual huertas belong to different people; they are located around rivers or other water sources because of the amount of water required, which is usually provided through small canals (acequias). They are a kind of market garden.

Huerta in Valencia, Spain

Alternate definitions[edit]

Elinor Ostrom has defined huertas as "well-demarked irrigation areas surrounding or near towns" (emphasis added).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ostrom, Elinor (2015). Governing the Commons, p.71.


  • Glick, Thomas F. 1970. Irrigation and Society in Medieval Valencia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Maass, Arthur, and Raymond Lloyd Anderson. 1978. ...and the Desert Shall Rejoice: Conflict, Growth and Justice in Arid Environments. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262131346
  • Ostrom, Elinor (2015 [1990]). "Huerta Irrigation Institutions." Pp.69-82 in Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107569782