Monday, April 7, 2014

America turns to Food Gardening

One in three American households (37%) are growing their own food. This is an increase of 17 percent in the last five years to the highest level in a decade. Some 42 million households raise food according to a new report, "Garden to table: A 5-year look at food growing in America", from the National Gardening Association (NGA).
The satisfaction of harvesting your own food 

Of great note is that the largest increase was among younger, millennial generation households age 18-34 (up 63%) and households with children (up 25%).

Millennials are the fastest growing segment of food gardeners totaling 13 million in 2013, a 63% increase in 5 years. Millennials also nearly doubled their spending on food gardening to $1.2 billion in 2013.

Where people don't have their own land to garden, they are joining community gardens. The five year increase in community gardeners is 200% or 2 million more households.

What has caused this food growing revolution? The great recession of recent years may have caused some to turn to growing their own food; the report indicates that household with incomes under $35,000 participating in food gardening increased by 38% in five years. This doesn't explain the total increase as those households represent only 11 million of the 42 million total food gardening households.

The NGA credits the "Let's Move" and White House Kitchen Garden initiatives and strong national leadership from USDA and HHS to increase awareness of healthy eating and educational efforts towards food gardening. Public-private partnerships also receive credit for building more food gardens in communities.

The survey finds that 76% of food growing households grow vegetables. The rest by deduction grow fruit.

Locally in Colorado's Front Range blogs like this one, increased numbers of classes on food growing, a growing number of CSA's, strong community gardening organizations such as Denver Urban Gardens and more political focus on local food production are paying off.

Why not join the grow your own food movement if you haven't already?

Photo credit: Harvesting cabbage - Carl Wilson

1 comment:

  1. We all are depending upon foods and especially in America report says that 37% of people are growing their own food with the help of gardening. Gardening is definitely a good effective solution for Americans to grow their own food; I hope this formula will continue in future.