Finding the Right Rx By Tim Hodson

As consumers continue to look for new ways to escape the craziness of their everyday lives, more and more of them are looking to their gardens to grow different types of plants that will make them feel better both physically and mentally.

According to the 2018 Garden Trends Report published by the Garden Media Group (GMG), people are looking for new ways to disconnect from media and reconnect with Mother Nature — and growing their own edibles is just what the doctor ordered.

The title of the report says it all — “Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness,” and it introduces seven industry trends about today’s consumers in their pursuit of a “cleaner, more relaxed state of mind.”

Growing Better Health

One of the report’s prescriptions for improved mental wellness is homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs. We’ve seen the edibles trend continue to grow over the years, as people look to produce their own food. But now edibles are becoming even more popular thanks to the physical and mental benefits they have to offer.

Approximately 23 million Americans call themselves flexitarians — semi- vegetarians — and many of them are now growing their own protein. As they decrease their meat consumption, they are turning to protein-rich foods that they can grow themselves (e.g., asparagus, peas, kale, spinach, quinoa and corn, just to name a few).

They want clean, sustainably sourced food — preferably from their own backyard.

The GMG report also says “Purple is the New Color of Health.” So, you can expect to see the demand for more purple food to increase. For years now, the USDA has been reporting that purple antioxidants help fight cancer, have anti-aging benefits and can help reduce obesity and protect the heart.

I would expect many gardeners to be looking for new and innovative purple food plants for their gardens. Some of the purple foods that are being grown at home include many different types of berries (acai, goji, black raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) beets, eggplant and purple cabbage — and these plants add great color to their gardens.

Are you growing protein-rich and purple foods for your customers? Your greenhouses could be “nature’s pharmacy” for producing the remedies that people want in their quest for mental and physical wellness. To help you stock your pharmacy, our Fresh Fare section in this issue will provide you with some additional insight into growing edibles.

The Garden Media Group is one of the horticulture industry’s leading marketing and public relations firms based in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. You can download GMG’s entire 2018 Garden Trends Report at www.gardenmediagroup.com.

P.S. Are you looking for more information on controlled environment agriculture? If you are, then be sure to sign up for GPN’s webinar on Understanding the Principles of Controlled Environment Agriculture that will take place on Oct. 26. Go to www.gpnmag.com/edwebinar for more information.

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Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]




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