Nationally, but especially here in the Bay Area, there is a huge Farm to Table movement. This basically means producing foods locally and then delivering that food to local consumers.
This infographic, created by the science editor of Mother Nature’s Network Russell McLendon, espouses the idea of not just going local, but for individuals growing locally too!
An interesting tidbit to food gardening is that 79% of those engaging in this practice are college grads or have some college. Not so surprising is there tend to be more female growers and that they are usually over age 45. (I guess have more time now that they are done with carpooling the kids from event to event?) 😉
There is a lot of evidence; most anecdotal, some scientific, about how gardeners live years longer than non-gardeners. There are articles galore out there advocating the benefits. However, what isn’t promoted as much is the savings to your wallet by growing your own foods. The average food gardener earns $530 annually on their 600ft2 garden. I can concur that the most expensive part of my grocery bill is produce, so this makes a lot of logical sense. Not only that, you know what has gone into the farming process.
Here along the pacific coast, tomatoes are a hot commodity. But in the Midwest you see more growth in peppers. In the south, where there is the most food gardening, sweet corn is very popular.
Whatever the crop, if you are going to spend around 5 hours a week food gardening, it makes sense to grow what you love. Maybe I should look into a salsa garden on my small patio…tomatoes, cilantro and jalepenos. 😉