George Ball Predicts Upswing in Gardening


The president of the Burpee Seed company is here to tell us he’s seen a 5-10 percent growthBall in units and sales in recent years and foresees even better growth ahead.  That’s by way of rebuttal to the recent national study showing the declining popularity of veggie gardening and seed-starting.  He credits the retirement-approaching Boomers – sorry, Amy – and their desire to not "turn into jello," plus their craving for better nutrition.  To round out the generational stereotyping, Ball says he sees plenty of people in their 20s gardening but wouldn’t bet the farm on the Thirty Somethings.  Ouch!

I learned all this in today’s Washington Post article by Adrian Higgins, which cites survey results by the National G’ing Association showing a decline in veg gardening from 2000 to 2004 but a surge last year.  Well, that’s gotta be connected to the food craze that’s sweeping the nation, with kids on campuses glued to the Food Channel – seriously.   Look how many households are involved in veg gardening today – 27 million.  That’s households.

Finally, a poll by Organic Gardening magazine this year found a surprising leap in the number of younger women interested in organic gardening, with 60 percent of that focussed on veggies.  The mag’s editor opines that it’s part of the trend of women in their 30s turning to hobbies once considered old-fashioned, primarily knitting, cooking and gardening.  There you go!  And my sources tell me the men are watching, too.


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