The Delicious Way to Go Green

May 31, 2010 § 2 Comments

What’s old is new again – and the trendiest of trends in the Age of Green?  Food gardening – from edible container gardening to the “garden variety” backyard plot to a neighborhood community garden – is all the craze.  Gotta know your heirlooms from your hybrids.

From 2008 to 2009, seven million more households grew their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or berries.  This new found interest in gardening was a 19 percent increase in one year. And 11 percent of households already gardening increased both the amount and variety of vegetables grown.  Currently 31% of all US households, or 36 million households, are busy growing food.

Of the 36 million households, 91% garden at home, 5% garden at a friend’s or relative’s, and 3% garden in a community garden.

And women represent 54% of food gardeners.   Most gardeners are 45 years of age and older, college graduates, with incomes of $50,000 and above.  Of course, growing the food is just half of the picture.  Women are also cooking the food, freezing the food and making an occasional jam, jelly or pickles.

This new harvest is based on a desire to eat local, save money, eat better, eat fresher, eat heirloom and enjoy better taste.  The recession has been a motivator for 34% of households.

The main reasons for growing their own food are many.  Growing food seems to be a happy endeavor, since obviously you can eat the results.

Better tasting food            58%

Save money                        54%

Better quality                     51%

Safe food                            48%

To be productive              40%

To be outdoors                 35%

And as for saving money, the National Gardening Association estimates, on average, that a well-maintained food garden yields a $500 return when considering a typical gardeners investment and the market price of produce.  The current average spent on a food garden is $70.

And online tools abound.  Mashable recently listed some of the new popular garden apps.

So what are people growing?

Tomatoes are the clear favorite – grown by 86% of households.  And the least favorite – rutabaga!



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§ 2 Responses to The Delicious Way to Go Green

  • Thechristyw says:

    We built a garden with the kids last summer. I can tell you it was fun for me, but cost way more than $70 and our yield was poor. The ground here in TN is not good so next time we’ve been instructed to bring in quality dirt. We may stick to containers next time.

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