Food for Thought: “Recession Gardens” May Help Budgets Bounce Back

by Robin Miniter

With the economic recession in full swing, Americans are digging deep into their wallets – and now their gardens – for an answer to the crisis.

A little soil goes a long way for your stomach and your wallet. (photo courtesy of Salon.com)

A little soil goes a long way for your stomach and your wallet. (photo courtesy of Salon.com)

“It does make a good deal of sense economically speaking to have these gardens and to be self sufficient, especially in our economy where food prices are rapidly rising,” says James Marconi, a senior Political Science minor at Marist College.

For 2009 alone, the National Gardening Association predicts a 19 percent increase in home gardening based on spring seed sales data and a telephone survey. The plots have been compared Eleanor Roosevelt’s WWII era “Victory Gardens,” which symbolized the self-reliance of the American peopl. According to Roger Doiron of Kitchen Gardeners International, at their peak these gardens supplied 40 percent of the nation’s fresh produce. With history coming in full circle, First Lady Michelle Obama recently broke ground for a garden on the South Lawn of the White House with daughters Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, as well as Washington D.C. area school children at her side.


The Washington Times reported that a well-maintained vegetable patch can yield hundreds or thousands of dollars in returns per year. “One-fifth of survey respondents said they planned to start a food garden this year, while more than half said they already were gardening to save on groceries,” reported the Times.

Food at your finger tips: a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can easily be cultivated in your own abckyard. (courtesy of http://www.easy-green-tips.com

Food at your finger tips: a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can easily be cultivated in your own abckyard. (courtesy of http://www.easy-green-tips.com

Sophie Ordway, a sophomore English-Writing major, grew up in a gardening family. Her mother, a botany major at the University of Michigan, “treats her plants like they’re her children.” She says that recession gardening would be, “great if everyone had the space and time to do it, and went in on it together… I think it would work.”

To put your green thumb to the test, Easy-Garden-Tips.com offers a guide to get your patch up and running. Locally, the Hudson River Valley will soon be blossoming with local farmers markets. With a higher quality and at a lower price, the fruits of these gardeners’ labor will not only support the local economy, but will help to put food on your table – and theirs.

Easy recipes from your garden to your table:

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