Interesting irony about the "20-30-something" generation... they might be glued to Iphones, apps, Facebook and so much wall-to-wall technology, but they also appreciate the basic dirt-grown tomato more than any age group since the World War II Victory Garden days.
A big reason for the recent rebirth in food gardening is the 18-34 age group.
Although food gardening in general is up 17 percent in the past 5 years and still growing, the rate is up by 63 percent among ages 18-34, according to a new study by the National Gardening Association.
In other words, they're fueling it.
Why the sudden interest in backyard lettuce and home-picked strawberries after three generations of chasing the perfect lawn?
Oklahoma garden writer Dee Nash thinks it has to do with finding balance... and maybe even a sort of "activism" against what 20/30s see as a loss of yesteryear's simple pleasures.
"I think 20/30s are so tied into the tech world that one way to appeal to them is to talk of 'real' things," she says in her new book, "The 20-30 Something Garden Guide"(St. Lynn's Press, $17.95 hardcover). "They spend so much time in the virtual world that they tire of it."
Though her book is largely geared to guiding 20/30s who want to try growing their own food, Nash spent a fair amount of time getting a handle on what motivates this age group to get dirty and how they view gardening differently than older gardeners.
I asked her about what she found:
Q: What's drawing the 20/30s to gardening?
A: They're worried about the food supply for one thing. They've also learned more about environmentalism than any previous group. They grew up listening to their teachers and other mentors speak about how fragile the Earth is and our responsibility in caring for her.
Plus, 30-somethings are starting families, and they want to make homes that are smaller, yet more holistic and kid-friendly.
They want to spend more time with their children, too. When you have children, you often want to teach them about the things that matter to you.