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?