There is interest in food gardening again

Photo credit: Tri-City Herald

Young gardeners are making a comeback with vegetable gardening after the hobby saw a decrease in the 1990s.

MIA AIGOTTI — New York Times

Garden Tips: Vegetable gardening seeing comeback


Having been at this job for more than 30 years, I have seen gardening trends come and go. In the 1980s, there were numerous gardeners interested in food gardening, growing vegetables and tree fruit in their backyards. You could always find vegetable transplants available at big box stores, as well as at local nurseries.

In the 1990s, things started to change. Fewer gardeners were interested in growing their own produce. The big box stores changed to offering fewer vegetable transplants, instead focusing on colorful annual flowers. Maybe people realized that gardens and fruit trees were a lot of work, they had easy access to fresh produce from local farmers markets, their busy lives did not allow time for gardening, or a combination of all these.

I am happy to say that we have come full circle, and gardeners, especially people under age 50, are interested in food gardening again. The focus is on veggies and herbs. A survey by Today’s Garden Center shows that these “youngsters” say gardening gives them a sense of accomplishment, allows them to become more self-sufficient and have more control over the safety of their food, and provides a way to get children outside and teach them about nature.

Another point to remember about younger gardeners is their interest in food and cooking. There is a proliferation of TV cooking shows that are enjoyed by young adults and older folks like me. Because the All-America Selections (AAS) organization has noticed that cooking fresh foods is trending, they plan to market their 2016 winning herb and vegetable selections with five videos that demonstrate cooking techniques.

Read the full article: Tri-City Herald

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.