Home gardening on the rise in the U.S. - gardeners have a variety of motivations
It's encouraging to see the increase in home gardens, just in the two years cited in the study. What's really notable is the collective economic impact of gardening.
I'm not much for keeping track of how much money we save gardening, especially compared with those serious types who weigh and record all of their home produce, but I know with our way of gardening, we "earn" much more in produce than we spend in garden costs.
The graphic does not include what to me is one of the other most interesting questions of the research — the "why" question. Why do people participate in food gardening? The top reasons were (by percentage):
- To grow better tasting food ........58
- To save money on food bills ........54
- To grow better quality food ........51
- To grow food I know is safe ........48
- To feel more productive ............40
- To spend more time outdoors ........35
- To get back to basics ..............25
- To have food to share with others...23
- To live more locally ...............22
- To have a family activity...........21
- To teach my kids about gardening ...30
You can read the study cited here.
What are your motivations for growing your own food? Will you expand your gardens this year?
Janice and Jim Leach tend a backyard plot in downtown Ann Arbor, where they try to grow as many vegetables and other plants as possible. For the last four years, they've published gardening tips, photos and stories at their 20 minute Garden website.