A report from the National Gardening Association said more Americans are considering gardening as a good way to get healthy and locally produced food.
A survey conducted by the association showed the number of households growing food at home or in a community garden has increased by 17% compared to five years ago. In 2009, 36 million families were growing their own food. This year, the number of households with backyard gardens rose to 42 million. Results of the survey also showed that one in three households is growing food or participating in community gardening programs.
The sudden increase in the number of households growing their own food is making the association and the Government happy. According to Association leaders, the increased interest in food gardening can be attributed to the following:
- Effort of public and private sectors in developing awareness on the benefits of food gardens
- An improving economy
- First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and White House Garden Kitchen
The First Lady launched the “Let’s Move” campaign and planted the White House Kitchen Garden in an effort to encourage the people to live healthier and build their own gardens. She even put up a website that provides information on how families can get started on their home or community gardens.
Interesting Facts about the Growing Interest in Food Gardening
The survey provided some fascinating facts regarding the growing number of household gardeners. Here are some of them:
- Gardeners are starting younger.
- The report said millennials or those in the 18- to 34-year-old group have the strongest desire to grow food at home. Children and teens are actively participating in food gardening programs in their schools and communities.
- There’s a room for gardening in urban areas.
- According to the American Gardening Association, the number of people growing food in urban areas has increased by 29%, from 7 million in 2008 to 9 million in 2013.
- Education matters.
- The Association found that college graduates led 37% of households that grow their own food. There’s also an increase in the number of high graduates who participate in food gardening.
- Space isn’t a problem.
- The survey revealed that limited space is not a big issue for many households. In fact, more people are growing food in containers.
- More people grow veggies.
- The Association found that about 76% of food gardeners in the US grow vegetables. Some people grow herbs in their home gardens.
The results of the survey showed an increased awareness on the importance of home gardening. Local governments and educational institutions keep developing gardening programs to help families and students get the fresh food they need.