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Home Gardening: More people are growing their own food

Inflation is the highest it's been in decades. That's prompted millions of Americans to do something about it. And for many, it's gardening.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Food gardening has been at the highest levels of engagement in more than a decade.

Jeff Bennett, owner of Bennett Nurseries said this, "Number one with the Covid issue, people have been staying at home, they want to do something in their yard, whether it's making it pretty, or growing their own vegetables. Number two, food is getting more expensive. So, to grow your own means just less money you're going to spend at the grocery store. And if you grow enough of it, let's just say you have an abundance of tomatoes, you could can, learn to can tomatoes, another hobby, and you could eat on that fresh vegetable or fruit during the winter."

The National Gardening Association says - 1 in 3 households in the U.S. grow their own food. The number of households engaging in food gardening has grown from 36 million to 42 million in just the last 5 years. 

Bennett also said, "If you put chemicals or fertilizer, whatever, you know exactly what it is. You go buy in the store, you're not exactly sure what's happened to it. You also get the pleasure of of watching it and the appreciation that you see that you raised it from either a seed or a young plant."

With this vegetable gardening trend on the rise, tomatoes are the most popular vegetable in the U.S., as 86% of gardeners grow them. The top three produce items you may find in a garden would consist of tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers.

With that, Bennett added, "So, when growing your own vegetables in particular there are some that are meant for cool weather. We've passed that. So, that would be like kale, lettuce, Brussel sprouts, but for the summer and we've got a long summer ahead of us; tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, those are vegetables that they like the heat. They appreciate the long days of sunshine."

           Mr. Bennet shares more on how to start your own garden!