Increase in home gardening continues, helping to reduce inflation

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) – It’s no secret that home gardening boomed after the pandemic hit.

Nurseries and gardening stores around the country and here in Detroit have seen supply shortages as seeds and equipment fly off the shelves.

In a report published this year, researchers from the University of California Davis found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people garden for a variety of reasons, including having a lot of time. have more free time and want to connect with nature.

The survey conducted in the summer of 2020 also reported that 81% of respondents were concerned about access to food, especially about exposure to the virus while getting food, choices and number of people. quantity at the store.

Now, more than two years after the pandemic, inflation is higher than many people have seen in their lifetime. One of the areas where we feel it the most? Dish.

Follow USDA Food Price OutlookGrocery purchases increased 10.8% in April compared to Apirl 2021. That includes all grocery purchases, not just produce.

James Homiak grew up gardening with his family. He has recently started a new plot of land at his home in Chesterfield Township.

Homiak was initially horticulturally oriented not because of financial savings, but because of differences in product quality and taste.

“It’s not the same. To have that real product and that real tomato, that’s a huge difference in taste,” he said, looking out at heirloom butchers, romas and beefsteaks.

When it comes to his grocery bill, “I mean, it’s all expensive in the stores these days,” Homiak told Action News.

“A tomato plant is like $2. So in the long run, that’s a huge savings,” he said.

Homiak estimates he spent between $60 and $80 upfront to start his newest garden.

Back in 2009, the National Horticultural Association released a report showing that an initial $70 investment in a home garden could yield an average, $600 return on investment.

Of course how much money you actually save for a home garden depends on a number of variables; such as the type of crop you are growing, the soil you are using, the equipment you already have and the area of ​​the land you are gardening.

Dave Roberts is the community garden manager of Midtown Detroit, Inc. He also said the hobby of gardening skyrocketed early in the pandemic, and for a variety of reasons, from more leisure time, to anxiety relief and community building.

Access to fresh food is also a big motivator, he said.

“We always have a lot of people and a waiting list to get in, but in 2020 it’s really exploded,” he said of the North Cass Community Garden in Midtown.

98 plots of land are gardened by about 150 people. The current waiting list has two years.

“We get a lot of new gardeners. Newbies are just trying it for the first time in their lives,” says Roberts.

He said some people use the garden to replenish their groceries.

Roberts grows a variety of vegetables both to eat and to share.

“This feeds myself and my friends, and sometimes I will give the produce to people I don’t even know,” he said, examining the head of freshly harvested lettuce.

Channel 7’s community garden isn’t new this year, but the plots behind the station are full, even for first-timers.

Homiak is also in the process of using rain barrels to water his garden, which will help save on his energy costs.

And canning, which he grew up with as a child with his grandmother, will soon be back at his home. He’s found three gallons of crock to start selling on Facebook Marketplace, but he’s still looking for more two-part canning lids, which are still short of supply due to a spike in demand starting in 2020.

“This is like a family run I was hoping for, and other than the cost savings and again, it knows what you’re eating,” he says of his canning venture.

Newell Brands is currently the exclusive supplier of Ball canned products. Ball’s website states:

“We’ve ramped up production, safely performed additional shifts at our manufacturing facilities, streamlined production to prioritize and maximize production of jars and lids. best-selling canning, eliminating scheduled off-season production reductions and expanding packing locations to replenish stocks as quickly as possible are the result of these efforts to maximize resources supply, minimizing consumer disruptions and responding to growing consumer demand, we can confirm that we are constantly working to provide timely delivery to all our customers during the closing season. box. “

Action News has reached out to both Newell and Ball for updates on their production and supply of canning lids.

Click here to learn more about North Cass Community Garden.

Interested in trying out gardening? Click here for tips on how to get started.

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