Homeowners Are Starting Their Own Vegetable Gardens

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According to Hometalk, a social network dedicated to home and garden projects, more American homeowners are starting their own vegetable gardens this spring. Since the beginning of this year, there were over 65,000 vegetables related activities (posts, shares, comments) through Hometalk.com, a significant increase from 2012. According to the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) 2013 Winter Gardening Trends Research Report, "The number of households growing edible plants is expected to increase by 11.3 percent for 2013." The Garden Writers Association survey "was conducted by Technometrica Market Intelligence of Orfield, NJ. A total of 839 surveys were completed from a random digital dial sample of telephone numbers." According to a survey by The National Gardening Association, "The Impact of Home and Community Gardening in America, indicate that food gardening in the US is on the rise."

Factors such as the rising price of food crops, concerns about food crop safety, and a new rise in digital gardening information have contributed to the upsurge of households growing edible plants. From university extension service websites to interactive gardening forums, more information and better information about growing vegetables are free and accessible. While the same old gardening challenges persist, like insect control and soil chemistry, Internet gardening information gives first time gardeners a leg up. Of course, gardening books always existed, but a homeowner would have to go to the library or book store to seek out a gardening book, which means that he'd already need to be interested in starting a vegetable garden. The Web, through social networks and viral blog posts, has introduced the idea of DIY vegetable gardening to the desktops of people who would never have considered it.

Jim from Old World Garden Farms, a small family farm in Ohio, said, "I can think of a hundred reasons why we grow our own — taste, quality, knowing we don't use chemicals, saving money on fresh vegetables, etc. — but quite honestly, the number one reason we grow our own vegetables is the sheer satisfaction of being able to eat something we grew. I don't think there is any greater feeling than to sit down to a dinner that we have prepared with food we grew ourselves."

Miriam Illions, the Director of Community Development on Hometalk.com said, "Vegetable gardening is one of the most popular topics on Hometalk. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing your hard work bear fruit (or vegetables!) so naturally, gardeners are inclined to share those success stories with like-minded people. Through these posts, you learn the specifics of how they achieved their success. You can then implement great ideas that might take you years to figure out through trial and error on your own.