Just in case you needed some evidence that home gardening is a good investment of your time and money, this infographic from the Mother Nature Network has some excellent data, even though the numbers come from mostly 2008 and 2009:
Of course, I’m biased, but I am delighted to see that I’m not the only home gardener obsessed with tomatoes. I’m surprised, however, that lettuce isn’t a more popular option, since you really can’t beat the taste of baby lettuce leaves cut that morning from your own garden, but hey … I’m just glad people are growing some of their own food.
I will admit disappointment with the statistics about age and education of home gardeners. Really? Nearly 70 percent of gardeners are 45 and older? That screams to me that it’s time for us all to cultivate more young gardeners, so the older generation isn’t the only one that knows the pleasure of food grown by one’s self.
I’m also concerned to see such high numbers of fairly-educated gardeners. Perhaps it’s because I live in Oakland, which is a city rife with substantially-sized food deserts. There are so many communities that need better access to healthy food, and the easiest way to increase that access is to grow that food in one’s own yard.
(Of course, in West Oakland and many other marginalized commuities, that’s a complicated matter, since much of the dirt is contaminated by industrial waste, so gardening at home requires raised beds with liners, or other planter options.)
Regardless, these are good numbers, particularly the growth in numbers of gardening households from one year to the next. Here’s to this year’s planting season—if you’re not a gardener yet, I encourage you to join the ranks of the at-home gardening crew!