Showing posts from October, 2010

Growing Vegetables? Take This Survey

If you've grown some of your own vegetables or herbs within the past five years, in a dedicated veggie garden, in containers, or spotted amongst ornamentals, George Weigel and Steve Bogash want to hear from you. George is the garden writer for the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, PA, and Steve is a regional vegetable specialist for Penn State's Extension Service. They want to hear about newbies' vegetable-growing experiences from all around the country, not just Pennsylvania. Was all this veggie-growing a fad born out of the recession, or will it last, because people are really concerned about what goes into and on their food? Once the reality of vegetable growing sinks in, are people still willing to put in the time and effort? Are most such gardeners growing organic, or do they buy whatever is on the shelf that promises to grow lots of food with few bugs? These are the kinds of questions George and Steve are hoping to answer. Perhaps of most interest to me because of my wor

Data Support Link Between Gardening and Spirituality

It was gratifying to hear Garden Writers of America (GWA) annual symposium keynote speaker Kierstin De West describe a developing cultural shift in which consumer attitudes about sustainability encompass more than just the idea of "green" products. Her data support my position that gardeners want something "more" from their gardening experiences. De West's presentation on sustainability was based on a market research study she did specifically for her GWA talk, which surveyed 5,000 people in North America, 18 and older. Among her findings was that there are four "Pillars of Sustainability:" Personal, environmental, social, and spiritual. I zeroed in on her figures that show that 62% of the general population is looking for more spiritual contentment and support, and that gardeners feel they can find it in the garden. Interestingly, 53% of people who garden from once a month to once a week feel this way, but only 43% of people who garden every day do

Garden Writers Conference

We’re just back from the Garden Writers Association 62nd  Annual Symposium in Dallas, Texas and in the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some product, plant, gardening, and travel information from our trip. Kudos to all who were involved with pulling together the four day whirlwind of seminars and garden tours, complete with meals and side trips, that had us up by 6:00am but not even close to a bed before 10:00pm. For 500 of our closest friends! The heat in Texas this time of the year is a bit intense for Jerseyites, but we paced ourselves and were willing to suffer for the sake of horticulture and great food. There’s always an after-tour on the fifth day. This time, a day in Fort Worth gardens. By that time, we needed a vacation from the vacation. Dan and I tacked on a few days, vegged out, and played tourist.  This year, that meant going to cousin Brenda and Michael's gorgeous ranch in the Texas Hill Country. After a relaxing day at the Strickland Arms B&B in Austin, we mo