It is estimated that over 33 million households have a vegetable garden in their yard 2 million more grow at a friend, neighbors, or relatives. There are also 1 million households that grow in a community garden plot. That is a lot of vegetables being grown. The number one reason given by most vegetable gardeners is they grow for taste, followed by saving money, better quality food, and finally safety of the food. There seems to be a direct correlation between economic health of the nation and the number of households growing vegetables at home. When the economy is bad it is estimated that there are 20% more households growing vegetable gardens. This is not surprising as the average backyard garden costs about $80.00 to put in and returns a little over $500.00 in produce better than 5 times the cost.
Food gardening is a huge business and is one of the biggest outdoor activities of most Americans. Gardening in general is consider the number one leisure time activity. So it is no wonder that so many people are enjoying the fruits of their gardening activity. On average the typical home vegetable gardener has been growing their own vegetables for 12 years. It is an activity that seems to continue long term and for good reason, especially if you have ever tasted a ripe red tomato just off the vine on a summer afternoon.
If you have been thinking about starting a vegetable garden of your own it is really not too difficult and will pay you back many times over for the amount of effort you will need to put into it. On average the typical home gardener spends about 5 hours a week tending the family vegetable plot. Considering the number of people that spend at least this amount of time everyday watching television, you can see this is not a big drain on your leisure time.
The average size vegetable garden is 20 feet by 10 feet and can produce enough fresh vegetables to supply a household with 6 months of fresh vegetables. If you can or preserve some of your produce you can even stretch the amount of produce to 8 or 9 months. The best part is that you know where this food is coming from and that it is safe from chemicals and pesticides. As an added benefit you are helping to reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gas produced by transporting the food you would buy at the local store that would have been transported fro more than 500 miles away.
These are just some of the facts about growing your own but it is interesting to see how many Americans are actually involved in producing their own fresh food for themselves and their families.