I'm forecasting perfect conditions for a bumper crop of backyard gardens this season. Time magazine recently reported that seed sales at two gardening companies, Burpee and Park Seed, increased 20% to date this year. The same brief also mentions the National Gardening Association expects home gardening to climb 20% in 2009. While the "eat-your-view" localization surge has certainly contributed to the sales increase, no doubt the economic crisis is also responsible. Not only do people have tighter pocketbooks but also those who have found themselves un- or under-employed may have more time for hobbies, particularly pursuits that put food on the table.
And even the US Department of Agriculture is getting in on the très chic gardening act: Earlier this month Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack broke ground on the USDA People's Garden, declaring a stretch of pavement be returned to grass. February 12, the date of the ground-breaking ceremony, was not insignificant given it was Abraham Lincon's birthday. Lincoln founded the Department of Agriculture in 1862 and referred to it as "The People's Department." Secretary Vilsack also announced the goal of creating a community garden at each USDA facility worldwide.
This longtime backyard gardener is feeling oh-so-fashionable at the moment.