Monday, April 20, 2009

Growth Industry

The ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt makes a comeback in Seattle:
There's a bumper crop of new gardeners out there.

Business is booming at nurseries all [over] the Puget Sound [area], "It's easily been a 25 percent increase, if not more, this year in seed sales. Seed sales have been definitely huge for us," said Joe Abken of Sky Nursery in Shoreline.

And it's not just the brick and mortar stores. Gardening expert Ed Hume says his online seed sales in February were up 40 percent. Something he attributes to the current economic situation, "When you get a downturn in the economy, then the vegetable seeds start to sell."

....Gardening advocates, who have long struggled to get America grubby, have dubbed the newly planted tracts "recession gardens" and hope to shape the interest into a movement similar to the victory gardens of World War II.

Those gardens, modeled after a White House patch planted by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1943, were intended to inspire self-sufficiency, and at their peak supplied 40 percent of the nation's fresh produce, said Roger Doiron, founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International.

The National Gardening Association estimates that a well- maintained vegetable garden yields a $500 average return per year. A study by Burpee Seeds claims that $50 spent on gardening supplies can multiply into $1,250 worth of produce annually.

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