Posted by sustainable_hort on February 19, 2010
If anyone should know how consumers are changing their relation to food and gardening, it should be the garden writers.
They are avid gardeners themselves, always looking for the next trend, and ready to study today’s food gardening activities. So, when their latest trends research was released, most of us were not that surprised…the American family plans to garden more, for several reasons, all positive.
The Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) recently released a 2010 trends survey that showed “more than one-third of the households surveyed reported plans to increase their edible gardens, while 29 percent said they would plant about the same as 2009.” The same survey indicated that only 1 percent are planting less than in 2009. One trend that remains strong. If you are interested in the entire survey, contact GWAF at www.gardenwriters.org.
Why?…Cost, interest in fresh, local food sources, concern with food safety, environmental issues, and even a return to food as a social connection. More and more, raised beds are replacing those neat, sterile lawns and mixed borders with vegetables, as food take over the summer landscape. This trend was confirmed in a recent AP story…while the general wholesale nursery industry is headed for the dumps, the story states “not all is gloom. Nurseries that specialized in edibles — vegetables, fruit trees and berries — didn’t fall as far thanks to the interest in grow-your-own food.”
As e mentioned, multiple forces drive this changing food market. But, much of it started with what is affectionately called the “foodies movement.” It comes from several waves of new ideas in food, entertainingly and succinctly covered in the United States of Arugula, by David Kamp. An equally entertaining, but more directly useful book is Marion Nestlé’s What to Eat. Her earlier works, Safe Food and Food Politics, are also worth your time and cover the topics in depth. Another recent book, Grub, by Anna Lappe (daughter of Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappe), is a shorter, lively introduction to the “urban organic kitchen.”
Bottom line…growing at least some of your food is a growing trend, no pun intended. Urban farming, now being defined, will become an important part of sustainable living. People involved get fresher, healthier food, some extra exercise, and might even save a buck or two.
So, if you are interested in the process, you can follow our seasonal work on our organic produce farm. Just visit and bookmark the 19th Street Farms blog at www.19thstreetfarms.com/blog. That site will cover the food and food growing information, articles and opinion, while this site will continue to look at landscaping, nursery industry, environmental and sustainability topics. Hope you visit both sites.