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Trending Thursday: The future of vegetable gardening

Posted by Katie Dubow on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 @ 9:00 AM

organic victory gardens resized 600In 2001, Garden Media predicted that vegetable gardening would regain popularity. We noticed a trend of 'gardening for the greater good.' Basically, gardening for the earth and our wallets- reminiscent of the Victory Gardens popular during WWII.  

In 2005, we noticed there was still a demand for fresh, local, affordable fruits and vegetables.  But this time, young men were taking up the mantle, emulating their grandfathers and growing their own.

By 2009, 43 million U.S. households planned to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries, up 19% from 36 million households in 2008, reported the National Gardening Association.

"As in previous recessions, we've seen increased participation in and spending on food gardening as people look for ways to economize," explained Bruce Butterfield, research director for the NGA. "That said, these results suggest the interest in food gardening may continue to increase, even after the economy improves."

Flash forward to 2014.  Was Bruce right? Has the interest in food gardening only increased or did farmers markets become the backyard vegetable garden?  Read more after the jump to find out.

Last week Garden Media hosted a Google+ Hangout to discuss some of the highlights from our 2014 Garden Trends Report. Low and behold, vegetable gardening came up.  

 

The conversation was fascinating.  Justin Hancock, from Costa Farms, chimed in with feedback about young men, new moms and new gardeners trying vegetable gardening.

Miriam Illinois from HomeTalk mentioned that a record number of homeowners were starting their first vegetable garden in the spring of 2013.  

Based on feedback from our Google+ Hangout, and the facts, it looks like vegetable gardening is here to stay.  

But we see it differently than most.  The new way we see this trend going: 

Edible Landscaping

jelly bean bush web  page image resized 600

We're still seeing people embrace the concept of growing their own, but now, they're incorporating it into edible landscaping.

One of our favorite examples of this is the new dwarf thornless raspberry and dwarf blueberry from BrazelBerries. Bred to look fantastic in pots, it's easier and more popular than ever to have a good-looking yard you can eat from. 

Community Gardening

The abundant craving fresh food has prompted community gardens to develop and flourish. Mentoring role models are also flourishing in these spaces where, regardless of age, people are learning from each other, building relationships, and strengthening their communities.

Whether it is creating a town community garden, guerrilla gardening to improve traffic islands, helping to create a schoolyard habitat or joining the garden clubs, there will continue to be a huge resurgence of interest in creating green spaces or restoring open spaces in local communities.

More folks will join groups to advocate for these special places in our neighborhoods as people realize how important these are for our well being.

Container Vegetables

A more modern, urban spin on traditional gardening- vegetables are being grown in previously underused spaces, like the front steps, the driveway and windowboxes. 

Homesteading

People are still strongly interested in being more self-sufficient and growing more in less space while trying to use less water. 

What do you think?  Do you think vegetable gardening, in the traditional form of the word, is in -- or do you see it taking on newer forms?

And, if you haven't read our 2014 trends report yet, download it today.

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Topics: Trending Thursday, trends, Garden Trends

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