According to the American Gardening Association, there was a 19% increase in small country farms and urban edible gardens between 2008 and 2009. A report done by Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report found that over 41 million U.S. households planted a vegetable garden in 2009. That’s 38% of the population. What is fascinating about their research is the data that’s behind the sudden shift. A survey done by the Garden Writer’s Association found that the main reason more people planted gardens was to supplement the household food supply. (i.e. to save money on food). The same organization predicts strong increases for years to come due to an expected rise in food prices in the next decade.
Up until the 1950’s, most families in the U.S. had their own gardens. They regularly planted crops in the spring and harvested during the fall. They used their fresh yields in daily cooking and planned meals around the crops they grew. What couldn’t be used in the food was canned and stored for future use. When farming dramatically changed because of more efficient equipment that replaced manpower, more and more of the population moved to urban areas. Due to small land plots and an overabundance of food, there was no need (or way) for the average person to have a garden. In addition, as less and less people were gardening, it became less common in social circles. The mentality became one of “why grow it when you can buy it”. While it is easier to purchase food than to grow it, there are negatives to mass-produced food.
As demand and consumption of food have gone up over the last 60 years, farmers have looked for ways to maximize production and profit. From everything to growth hormone injected into cows to preservatives added to fruits and vegetables, it’s hard to find food that hasn’t been altered in some way. Even foods at the grocery store labeled “organic” often have some chemical additive to add flavor or make the product last longer.
Aside from the financial benefits of growing your own garden, the nutritional benefits are also substantial. Food straight from the garden is 100% natural. Many people who grow their own food report they can taste a significant difference and it was only when they tasted home-grown food that they realized how processed grocery store food is.
Between the obvious benefits of cheaper, more naturally delicious food, growing your own garden is not only a growing trend, but may soon prove to a critical one. Even in urban areas where land is a premium, windowsills and indoor gardens are the wave of the future. Many people use the excuse that they don’t have space for a garden, but even small apartments and homes can be used to grow a modest garden. In order to start saving money with your own garden, we recommend a Survival Seed Kit or Seek bank. It’s an all-inclusive way to have everything you need to start enjoying fresh food, the way nature intended.