Everyone, other than the government, is tightening their belts these days.
Some are doing so out of necessity others as a precautionary move.
One way some are dealing with these tough economic times is planning to plant food gardens.
Seed sales are soaring.
High prices for produce in the grocery store have some Phoenix residents taking matters into their own hands.
They’re getting down and dirty and closer in touch with Mother Nature. With a few seeds, soil and a careful minding of water, vegetable gardens are taking root around town.
"Especially this year, with the slumping economy, we’re seeing many more people wanting to grow their own gardens," said Tom Brodt of Baker International Nursery Inc. in Phoenix. "Sales (of seeds or small fruit and vegetable plants) are doing well."
In the midst of bailouts, stimulus packages and talking heads on TV reporting the doom and gloom that is our economy, it’s wonderful to know that seedsmen continue to thrive.
W. Atlee Burpee & Co. has been selling seeds for more than 125 years. They’ve seen a depression, lots of recessions and two great wars, but have always flourished regardless. They are one of the biggest suppliers of seeds and plants for gardeners.
"Most of the seed companies are fairly recession-proof on the vegetable side," Burpee chairman George Ball Jr. says. "It’s sort of the Victory Garden phenomenon. Gardening not only takes your mind off things but it is also is very cost-effective."
As the economy slows, Salisbury garden centers are seeing the popularity of vegetable gardening growing.
Cale Ashcraft of Johnson’s Seed & Feed Co. has already noticed more customers in search of practical plants to help cut down on the food bill.
"We started seeing it last year, but we are planning on an even bigger increase this year," said Ashcraft. "Mostly we’ve seen people coming in early looking for potato plants and vegetable seeds."
As costs rise at the grocery store, many are looking to grow their own produce for the first time. Salisbury University student Claire Brisendine has never had a vegetable garden before, but this year she hopes to grow several different plants right on her deck.
"I’ve always been interested in it, but this year I’ll be moving to an apartment that gets a lot of sun so it was good timing," Brisendine said. "I got a book on container gardening and just went from there. In my wildest dreams I’d love to have space for a giant vegetable garden and do a ton of canning, but for now a few tomato and pepper plants will have to get me started."