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Backyard Veggie Gardens booming! Many mail-order companies are sold out of onion, tomato, pepper seeds! People are saving thousands by growing their

 
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03/23/2009 12:46 PM
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Backyard Veggie Gardens booming! Many mail-order companies are sold out of onion, tomato, pepper seeds! People are saving thousands by growing their
Recession leads to boom in backyard vegetable gardens
Monday, March 16, 2009

Herald News
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONG BEACH, Calif. — With the recession in full swing, many Americans are returning to their roots — literally — cultivating vegetables in their back yards to squeeze every penny out of their food budget.

Industry surveys show double-digit growth in the number of home gardeners this year and mail-order companies report such a tremendous demand that some have run out of seeds for basic vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and peppers.

"People's home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we've seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We're selling out," said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. "I've never seen anything like it."

Gardening advocates, who have long struggled to get America grubby, have dubbed the newly planted tracts "recession gardens" and hope to shape the interest into a movement similar to the victory gardens of World War II.

But for many Americans, the appeal of backyard gardening isn't in its history — it's in the savings.

The National Gardening Association estimates that a well-maintained vegetable garden yields a $500 average return per year. A study by Burpee Seeds claims that $50 spent on gardening supplies can multiply into $1,250 worth of produce annually.Doiron spent nine months weighing and recording each vegetable he pulled from his 1,600-square-foot garden outside Portland, Maine. After counting the final winter leaves of Belgian endive, he found he had saved about $2,150 by growing produce for his family of five instead of buying it.

Adriana Martinez, an accountant who reduced her grocery bill to $40 a week by gardening, said there's peace of mind in knowing where her food comes from. And she said the effort has fostered a sense of community through a neighborhood veggie co-op.

"We're helping to feed each other and what better time than now?" Martinez said.

A new report by the National Gardening Association predicts a 19 percent increase in home gardening in 2009, based on spring seed sales data and a telephone survey. One-fifth of respondents said they planned to start a food garden this year and more than half said they already were gardening to save on groceries.

Community gardens nationwide are also seeing a surge of interest. The waiting list at the 312-plot Long Beach Community Garden has nearly quadrupled — and no one is leaving, said Lonnie Brundage, who runs the garden's membership list.

"They're growing for themselves, but you figure if they can use our community garden year-round they can save $2,000 or $3,000 or $4,000 a year," she said.

Doiron spent nine months weighing and recording each vegetable he pulled from his 1,600-square-foot garden outside Portland, Maine. After counting the final winter leaves of Belgian endive, he found he had saved about $2,150 by growing produce for his family of five instead of buying it.

Adriana Martinez, an accountant who reduced her grocery bill to $40 a week by gardening, said there's peace of mind in knowing where her food comes from. And she said the effort has fostered a sense of community through a neighborhood veggie co-op.

"We're helping to feed each other and what better time than now?" Martinez said.

A new report by the National Gardening Association predicts a 19 percent increase in home gardening in 2009, based on spring seed sales data and a telephone survey. One-fifth of respondents said they planned to start a food garden this year and more than half said they already were gardening to save on groceries.

Community gardens nationwide are also seeing a surge of interest. The waiting list at the 312-plot Long Beach Community Garden has nearly quadrupled — and no one is leaving, said Lonnie Brundage, who runs the garden's membership list.

"They're growing for themselves, but you figure if they can use our community garden year-round they can save $2,000 or $3,000 or $4,000 a year," she said.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/23/2009 12:50 PM
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Re: Backyard Veggie Gardens booming! Many mail-order companies are sold out of onion, tomato, pepper seeds! People are saving thousands by growing their
We saved over $1000 last year by growing our own veggies.
Omega

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03/23/2009 12:52 PM
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Re: Backyard Veggie Gardens booming! Many mail-order companies are sold out of onion, tomato, pepper seeds! People are saving thousands by growing their
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