In the past, most families had gardens in which they grew much of their food. However, once industrial farming took over this became less true. Now, despite industrial agriculture being just as prevalent, gardening is experiencing a growth in popularity. Who is doing this gardening, you may ask? Yuppies, suburbanites, survivalists and homesteaders all come to mind. However, it is actually a wide variety of people from all walks of life that are finding joy in returning to the path of feeding themselves and their families. Why is there a growth in this hobby? Here are some reasons:
1) Distrust in big agriculture and in genetically modified produce in general. A growing awareness of questionable business and scientific practices has created this distrust. People feel safer knowing how their produce was grown, where the seeds came from, and what they put on their plants. They like the control that growing what they eat provides them.
2) Increased interest in older, more interesting varieties of produce that are unavailable at the grocery store. There is much interest in heirloom varieties of produce, such as Purple Tomatoes, White Strawberries and other “oddities”. People are curious about these and other varieties. They want to help preserve these varieties and add to a heritage these seeds represent. The nutrition in these varieties is higher, and often their flavors are stronger and more appealing. In addition, these varieties are not genetically modified and their “old-fashion” image gives them a trustworthy reputation among gardeners.
3) Getting in touch with nature has become more popular in recent years. This plays into gardening’s growth in popularity. In this technology-based, fast-paced world we live in, the slow beauty of nature has been found to help people calm down, reduce stress and slow down. Getting fingers in the dirt and helping create life assists in connecting with nature.
4) Finally, there is one big, practical reason for the growth of gardening… saving money. Food has grown more expensive. Families, individual and communities wishing to supplement their diets with extra produce, are turning to gardening. The rise of Community Gardens has been tremendous allowing people to share methods, plants and yields. This helps them stretch their dollars and also provides food to many that would not necessarily eat as nutritious a diet.
Needless to say that we, at Victory Gardeners, are all in on the gardening trend. We believe it helps your heart, your soul, and your body.