Monday, February 9, 2009

Gardening Trend Sprouting with Vigor in Wilted Economy

Karina Kling
News 8 Austin
February 8, 2009

The gardening world is sprouting with vigor in light of the poor economy and more people are becoming gardeners in an effort to be more mindful their spending habits.

As the price of produce spikes, first time gardeners are uprooting old fashioned habits of sustainable living to save money, while fostering healthier eating habits.

Christina Smith is a first time gardener who went out to The Natural Gardener in West Austin to get some tips and seeds to start planting.

"We're out here to ask as many questions as possible because we have no idea what we're doing," Smith said.

Smith is just one example of a growing group of first time gardeners hoping to save some money at the store by digging into their own dirt.

Lyda Guz with The Natural Gardener said business couldn't be better as more people pass through their produce aisle and opt to produce their own fruits and vegetables.

"We're seeing almost a 500 percent increase in sales of our vegetables," Guz said. "We're having trouble meeting the demand."

If you think you need a lot of room to grow a garden, you're wrong. If all you have is a square foot, or even simply a bucket, that's all you need to get started.

"Square foot gardens are four-by-four. Some things like broccoli you plant only one per square. Others like spinach are four to a square. It's a very compact way to grow a lot of food," Guz said.

So if you have a little sun and some good soil, you can join the hundreds like Christina Smith, planting their own produce.

It's a past time that's possibly once again becoming a popular way of life.

Back during World War II, 40 to 60 percent of people had personal or family gardens. They were called victory gardens.

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