According to recent research data collected by the the Garden Writers Association, there will be a 17% increase in vegetable gardens in 2009 (www.gardenwriters.org). There were 36 million people in 2008 who had a vegetable garden in 2008 and it is anticipated that in 2009 the number of gardeners will grow to be 43 million people. The gardens that people are working in are not larger, either. The average size is 100 square feet and people are interested in raising primarily vegetables, herbs and fruit.
People are interested in starting and maintaining a garden for a variety of reasons. Yes, one reason does have to do with the economy. However, this is not just a current need. The interest in having a garden
has been growing stronger in recent years for many other reasons. People are looking for hobbies, this is a way to socialize and to also spend more time at home. There is also the interest in knowing where your food came from and growing it yourself is a way to insure that it is the best quality possible. Being able to grow organic produce is another big consideration. Whatever the reason or reasons, the trend is increasing significantly each year.
An important consideration in being able to raise all of this produce is to be able to help others. The Garden Writers Association has created a program called ‘Plant A Row’. Gardeners are encouraged to plant an extra row for the homeless and needy. Food banks, soup kitchens and other service organizations who help the needy will benefit from your generosity. Please consider raising extra vegetables, herbs and fruits in your garden this year. Additional information on this program can be found at http://www.gardenwriters.org/gwa.php?p=par/index.html