Findings from the National Gardening Association’s (NGA) new survey, The Impact of Home and Community Gardening in America, confirm that food gardening in the U.S. is on the rise. Seven million more households plan to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or berries in 2009 than in 2008 — a 19 percent increase in participation. This anticipated increase is nearly double the 10 percent growth in vegetable gardening from 2007 to 2008 and reflects the number of new food gardeners emerging this year.
More Americans are recognizing the benefits of growing their own produce, including improved quality, taste, and cost savings. In 2008, gardeners spent a total of $2.5 billion to purchase seeds, plants, fertilizer, tools, and other gardening supplies to grow their own food. According to NGA estimates, on average a well-maintained food garden yields a $500 return when considering a typical gardener’s investment and the market price of produce.