More Americans opting for locally grown fruit, vegetables and herbs at a time when health issues and surging food prices have become national concerns.
Fueled largely by a 63 percent increase in gardening among millennials (18- to 34-year-olds), the number of Americans growing their own food—either in home or in neighborhood plots—has risen to its highest levels in more than 10 years, increasing 17 percent over the last five years, to 43 million, or 35 percent of all households, according to a report to be released yesterday by the National Gardening Association.
The report also found that individuals involved in community gardening has skyrocketed 200 percent since 2008; the number of households with children that participated in food gardening increased by 25 percent during that same period; and that 29 percent more people in urban areas have taken to growing food.
“This report clearly shows that there truly is a food revolution taking place in America,” said Mike Metallo, president and CEO of the National Gardening Association. “We are seeing more people, particularly young people, actively engaged in growing their own food. The growth in just five years is pretty spectacular.”
The association, which has published annual statistics on food gardening in the United States since 1978, cited a home gardening campaign by the first lady, Michelle Obama—punctuated by the planting of a White House Kitchen Garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden provided produce during World War II—as a contributing factor to increasing interest more-healthful food.