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.