How About Those Tomatoes!

tomatoesThe National Gardening Association recently released a detailed report that surveyed U.S. households and found a huge jump in the number of people who plan on growing their own food this year.

The survey and report, titled “The Impact of Home and Community Gardening in America” found that 7 million more households “plan to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or berries in 2009 than in 2008 — a 19 percent increase in participation. This anticipated increase is nearly double the 10 percent growth in vegetable gardening from 2007 to 2008 and reflects the number of new food gardeners emerging this year,” said the NGA.

The survey also showed that:

* 31 percent of all “U.S. households, or an estimated 36 million households, participated in food gardening in 2008. Food gardening includes growing vegetables, fruit, berries, and herbs.”

* Most food gardeners “are women (54 percent); 45 years of age and older (68 percent); college graduates (43 percent); residents of the South (29 percent), Midwest (26 percent), West (23 percent), and Northeast (22 percent); in households with annual incomes of $50,000 and over (49 percent); married households (64 percent); households with no children at home (67 percent); and two-person households (40 percent).”

* Topping the list as the main reasons given by those surveyed for growing their own food was “better-tasting food (58 percent)” followed by saving money on food bills (54 percent).

* The most popular vegetable tog grow? Tomatoes, of course!

Regarding the respondents’ interest In community gardening, the survey found that “5 million households are extremely or very interested in having a garden plot in a community garden located near their home.” In addition, 19 percent of all U.S. households “said they were aware of gardening activities for students at their local school, while a majority of households (55 percent) believe gardening activities should be implemented whenever possible (35 percent) and in every school (20 percent).”

To download the full report, click here.

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