Gardening Grows as Millennials Dig In: No. 1 Hobby in America Gets Boost from Interest in Locally Grown Foods
Gardening is growing as the No. 1 hobby in America, with 5 million more households digging in and planting than in 2010, driven by millennials' interest in edible gardening according to the 2013 National Gardening Survey. The edible gardening category, which includes vegetable gardening, herb gardening, fruit trees and growing berries, recently hit a six-year high in both participation and spending.
Looking to source locally grown food straight from their backyards, nearly 80 percent of gardeners aged 18-30 purchase vegetables to grow, according to the 2014 Home Garden Panel by Metrolina Greenhouses, the nation's largest greenhouse.
Growing berries emerges as the most popular trend in edibles, likely due to the reported health benefits of foods like antioxidant-rich blueberries. In fact, blueberry consumption grew more than 500 percent from 1980-2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today more than 25 percent of millennial consumers under the age of 24 purchase berries weekly or even more frequently.
Blueberries also are the most popular fruit edible at Lowe's, with the varieties of O'Neal, Misty, Earliblue and Sunshine Blue generating the most interest from consumers. Lowe's offers container and landscape planting options as well as berry mixes of raspberry and blackberry.
Regardless of age, gardeners grow edibles for the pride of harvesting their own fresh produce to experience the growing process and to share. Almost two-thirds report plans to share their harvest with family, friends or neighbors, lending to the growing trend of community gardening.
If it's still too cool to plant fruits and vegetables in your region, consider planting edibles, including the ever-popular blueberries, tomatoes and cucumbers, in containers that you can keep indoors until weather warms. Once spring has sprung, take your pre-grown plants outside to add color and further accessorize your outdoor space, with the extra benefit of harvesting fresh food straight from your own backyard!
For more information, planting inspiration and how-to advice, check out Lowe's spring tips videos, highlighting three easy steps to create a garden full of color and variety this season, at YouTube.com/Lowes.
SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.