With the skyrocketing interest in growing food at home these days, I think that – if Fresh from the Garden (the show I did for three years on the DIY Network) were rolling out this year instead of 2003 – it would be the network’s top-rated series of the year. High gas prices, combined with a tighter economy and the desire to live a more environmentally-responsible lifestyle, are really driving a surge in new home vegetable gardeners lately.
Nurseries across the country are seeing a huge increase in the number of young, first-time gardeners. These new consumers are looking to serve their young families fresh, homegrown veggies that are not only delicious but also free of all the chemical pesticides that are so prevalent in store-bought produce. That said, price is the strongest motivating factor for growing their own. Buying organic food is prohibitively expensive for many families today, and the commercial cost of growing and bringing organically-grown food to market isn’t coming down any time soon.
Yet if this “back door approach” is what hooks young parents and children on gardening (and doing so organically), I’m all for it. Younger generations aren’t gardening nearly as much as our parents did. Consequently, our children and grandchildren aren’t being introduced to this skill either. The time is ripe for spreading the gospel of gardening and growing your own food. These days, full classes and long waiting lists are common across the country for programs such as Portland’s nonprofit Growing Gardens. There, they teach gardeners of all ages how to build raised beds and grow food in any available space.
You hear that, DIY Network? Fresh from the Garden needs an updated series with a green theme.
Although today’s main driver may be economic, the benefits of this explosion of interest in home gardening are many. Parents and children getting outside – together – and being exposed to delicious and nutritious home-grown food. I’m sure many new lifetime gardeners will blossom from this experience.
When life throws you lemons, make lemonade…or at least plant the seeds.