Read at :
Home gardening becoming more popular as food prices continue to soar
Raising two young children isn’t cheap. Factor in the seemingly endless increases in food and fuel prices and that cost can seem like a fortune. “We notice it,” Moscow resident Andrew Ackerman said of high prices at grocery stores. “Any amount of increase would impact us in the short term.” Ackerman’s pocketbook isn’t the only one being pinched, as people across the county are being affected by the soaring cost of fuel and its effect on food prices. According to United States Department of Agriculture figures, food prices are forecast to increase 4.5 to 5.5 percent in 2008 over last year’s prices as wholesalers and retailers continue to pass on higher commodity and energy costs to consumers. That’s on top of 2007’s 4-percent increase for food, the highest annual increase since 1990. In 2006, the average American family spent 9.9 percent of their disposable income on food, according to USDA figures. Those numbers have only increased as food prices have continued to climb. Ackerman, a University of Idaho graduate student in his final year of schooling, is one of several Palouse-area residents who have decided to limit trips to the grocery store by growing some of their own food. He and his family planted a 45-foot-by-35-foot garden in their backyard, with crops like broccoli, squash, carrots, tomatoes, peas, lettuce and onions.