Veggie Gardening: The Next Big Thing

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Quite simply, the Next Big Thing is going to be veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. Heirloom tomatoes, offbeat salad greens and stuff like that. All organically grown, of course. By us. – from Toronto Star “Urban Gardeners Are Growing Local” (July 7, 2007.)

Many of us have known it all along by I am excited and encouraged by how much the media is catching onto the fact that gardeners are growing food. Yes, with the seemingly limitless plant choices available to us in this day and age gardeners are choosing to grow vegetable crops. And as crazy as it sounds some of us actually value edible plants for their beauty, tucking them into perennial beds and artistically designing entire gardens around and with them. The days of sticking our noses up at veggie gardening is a snooty, short-sighted, old-school concept that most of us are more than happy to be rid of once and for all.

I’ve never been interested in announcing trends because my fear is that once you announce something as a fad its shelf-life decreases — I am much more interested in real, long-term change. However veggie gardening and urban agriculture aren’t just passing flavors-of-the-week but lifestyle choices many gardeners have been quietly going about their business with for a long time and I think I speak for many of us when I say that we are more than happy to see its popularity rise exponentially.

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“Sales of vegetable seeds soared last year, outstripping those of flowers for the first time since the 1950s.” – from Toronto Star Article

Awesome! And incidentally the post WW2 era just happens to mark a cultural shift towards looking at food gardening as a low class activity. Could it be that we are FINALLY kicking that 50′s era conservatism to the curb?

Thanks to Sonia Day for this fantastic article.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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7 thoughts on “Veggie Gardening: The Next Big Thing

  1. They said very much the same thing on the tv here when they were covering the Hampton Court Flower Show – sales of veggie seeds have outstripped those of flower seeds in the UK for the first time since WW2. Go veggies!

  2. Don’t know if it’s conservatism so much as the industrial revolution mindset of progress, progress progress and all of it mechanical. We’re the great-great grandchildren of the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 19th cent.

  3. I don’t think it was exactly conservatism…the US was just coming out of it’s depression then war time sacrifices…Our grandparents had been dirty kneed in their Victory Gardens out of necessity for many years by the 50s.

    I think they were learning to enjoy gardening through flowers again as a sign of the overall victory of economical growth. Planting flowers in your garden spots was probably a celebration of the sacrifices you made paying off.

    We don’t “HAVE” to grow our own veggies, and so we enjoy it. But, I would bet that in some parts of town, growing vegetables probably drew the same eyebrows that having a clothes line does now.

    Congrats on your article, it’s been fun and inspiring to watch you and the site grow over the years!

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