Our gardens have become more of an extension to our homes today than ever before and now it seems as much a part of our kitchen larders too, offering a cost effective and eco-friendly way to feed our families. Squire’s recently conducted a survey to find what produce people are growing in their gardens, where and why?
The survey was conducted over a cross section of 1200 people from the South East of England. The questions answered have unearthed some interesting statistics and reflect the trend for being self-sufficient and going organic. It demonstrates just how increasingly precious and useful our gardens and outside spaces have become for all the family.
The results show that there are many reasons why ‘growing your own’ is ‘growing’ in the South East, not only is it a popular hobby but taste is also a huge factor; With 81% of gardeners eating their own produce at least once a week, and a third of people specifically growing their own because it tastes better! There’s also the fact there’s no pesticides used which is equally as important as reflected by many people in the survey.
Other findings show that most people grow their own in a garden 81%, but people with smaller spaces aren’t left out with 40% using pots and containers and another 10% favouring allotments in replace of garden space.
Squire’s discovered that a staggering 69% of women have embraced growing their own produce far more readily than the men. Demographics indicate that we tend to start enjoying the garden and all things planting from 35 years onwards peaking around the 50-69 year olds.
The top five foods grown across the region are Tomatoes 71%, Beans 60%, Herbs 61%, lettuce 54% and strawberries 54%. The usual amount of time spent gardening in the South East tends to be every 2-3 days for approximately 2 hours.
Taking the first steps into gardening and growing your own will help to save money on everyday fruit and vegetables, provide a cheap form of exercise – a great way to burn calories and get some fresh air! It also helps children understand where their food comes from, and could encourage more interest in eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season to help the whole family get their 5-a-day.
Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres is available for interview on gardening trends, the move toward GYO plus all things garden related.