Consumers Are Hungry By Tim Hodson

Did you know that, in 2009, more than 75 million households participated in some form of edible gardening? In fact, nearly 8 million homeowners planted their very first vegetable, herb or fruit garden last year. These are the findings in the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writers Association Foundation. The study was done at the conclusion of the 2009 gardening season and found that more than 41 million U.S. households grew a vegetable garden, 19.5 million grew some kind of an herb garden and another 17 million households grew fruit — that's a lot of food on American consumers' tables!

Everybody's Talking

Throughout 2009, there was a lot of talk about edibles gardening. When first lady Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden at the White House, you couldn't open a newspaper or magazine and not read about this new "trend" that Americans were growing their own vegetables.

The results of the GWAF survey seem like a really good exclamation point for the entire year for both growers and retailers. And I expect that we will see even more veggies, herbs and fruits on display next month when we are at California Spring Trials.

This Year Looks Even Better

Annuals continue to dominate consumer plant sales, but the edibles category looks like it will keep growing in 2010. According to the GWAF survey, consumers will be returning to their edibles garden this year. Thirty-seven percent of the survey respondents said they plan to increase the size of their edibles gardens in 2010, and another 30 percent said they would plant the same amount of edibles in their gardens. Only 1 percent said they planned to plant fewer vegetables, herbs or fruits in 2010.

So what's on your menu this spring? Are you growing and selling more edible products this year? How does this category look for your business? Drop me a line a [email protected] and let me know.

You can learn more about the GWAF study by going to and searching for "2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report."

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