Vegetable Gardens Are Booming in a Fallow Economy
WEST LIBERTY, Ky. — As the economy continues to stagnate in towns and cities across the country, here in eastern Kentucky it is causing things to sprout.
Garden plots are dug into the green hills, laid out in fuller force than people have seen in years. People call them sturdy patches of protection in uncertain times.
“You see a lot more people turning up ground,” said Wanda Hamilton, 61, a lifelong gardener who sells her surplus vegetables at the farmers’ market in West Liberty, a small town in the Appalachian foothills. “It’s the economy. You just can’t afford to shop at the store anymore.”
It is not just eastern Kentucky. Vegetable gardening has been on the rise across the country, according to Bruce Butterfield, research director at the National Gardening Association, driven by rising food prices and a growing contingent of health-conscious consumers. Garden-store retailers have reported increased sales over the past two years, he said, and many community gardens have waiting lists.
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