With the recession in full swing, many Americans are returning to their roots — literally — cultivating vegetables in their backyards to squeeze every penny out of their food budget.
Industry surveys show double-digit growth in the number of home gardeners this year and mail-order companies report such a tremendous demand that some have run out of seeds for basic vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and peppers.
“People’s home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we’ve seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We’re selling out,” said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Gardening advocates, who have long struggled to get America grubby, have dubbed the newly planted tracts “recession gardens” and hope to shape the interest into a movement similar to the victory gardens of World War II.