Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Miracle-Gro Effect" On Backyard Garden Movement

The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting story in their May 16 edition using stats from the Garden Writers Association of America.

The story reports on how those in the garden industry, (nurseries, gardening organizations, seed companies, etc.) have seen sales of vegetable seeds and starter plants increase. And, according to the the Garden Writer's Association, this year, 39 percent of people with backyards planned to grow vegetables this year. That's up 5 percent from last year, after remaining relatively stable with only small increases for much of the past decade.

The Garden Writers Association surveys people annually to see how they plan to spend their gardening dollars, and found a big increase in preference for vegetable gardens. For years, the top three on the list were lawns, annuals, and perennials, with vegetable gardening a distant fourth. This year, vegetable gardening jumped to No. 2.

The reasons for this increase are related directly to both the rising costs of gasoline and food, as well as increased interest in having sustainable agriculture in the backyard, knowing where your food comes from and what was done to it.

Those in the industry are hoping that this trend continues because they believe that once people taste how much better their own produce is, they won't go back to store bought.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week

Proving that there truly is a week for everything, this week, May 4 through May 10, 2008, has been dubbed "International Compost Awareness Week," by the US Composting Council (also proving there is a group for everything).

There's even a theme and the theme for 2008 is: The Possibilities are Endless...Compost!

So, if you have been thinking about doing your own composting, now is the perfect time.

There are even some upcoming compost demonstrations to help make the task easier, including one on May 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. at South Coast Botanic Garden. They have a permanent composting demo there and the workshop will be led by LA County's Smart Gardening Program, which is a great program, where they teach you about backyard composting, worm composting, and water wise gardening. At the workshop, they will also offer compost bins at reduced prices,

Check out the Smart Gardening site to learn more about their other gardening programs,