Are you going to join the trend? Vegetable gardens are the new must have for the thrifty homeowner. Fuel prices have played a direct role in the increase of food costs, which, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, have risen nearly 4 percent in the last year. Many people are turning to modern day Victory Gardens (made popular during World War I and II) to offer some relief from the sticker shock of food prices...
The Pittsburgh Tribune article on backyard gardens quotes Jay W. Sukits description of the "triple whammy" effect of rising gasoline prices, the shifting of corn from food to fuel and record high diesel prices as factors that are driving up food costs.
All over the country there has been a surge in vegetable seed sales. W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the nation's largest seed company, has sold twice as many seeds this year as it did last year. The company's president, George Ball estimates half of the increase is from new customers. Their customer hotline in Warminster, Pa., has been inundated with calls from novice gardeners trying to learn the basics of soil acidity and seed starting.
In our neighborhood there is ample evidence of this new development. It seems like every other backyard has some sort of small vegetable garden. We have to admit feeling some garden envy on our evening walks -seeing the fruits of our neighbor's labors. We can only hope our little tomato plants do us proud!
- Caroline Vollmer