One thing about getting older is this: What your parents or grandparents did can become the new trend. This is true of five new developments in agriculture in 2017.
- Community gardening: This trend came from a proliferation of abandoned property in major cities like Detroit. Changes in the local economy, increases in crime, and a mass exodus of workers left many vacant and neglected lots in these cities. Developers began trying to figure out what to do with this space. One idea was the community garden. Community gardening reclaims, beautifies, and brings back an old concept of community. Work is shared and lots are assigned by the city or a nonprofit organization.
- Locavores: Back in the day, grocery stores stocked more items from local farms. Locally grown produce is a trend that is seeing renewed interest in 2017. The farmer's market is an inexpensive way to cut a community's carbon footprint while supporting local growers. Locavore is a modern term that is used to describe the use of locally grown produce. Farmer's markets are a great place to get fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables.
- Homesteading: This is not your great-granddad's homestead. Today's homestead may include solar panels or wind power and modern appliances. Modern homesteading involves the use of renewable energy. Homesteading is defined as a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It includes subsistence agriculture and home preservation of foods. It may involve production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Many also choose to plant and grow vegetables and to raise livestock. Canning vegetables and fruits from one's own garden is an enjoyable way to save money and be self-sufficient. Produce and clothing come from one's own farm.
- Co-op: A co-op is a business owned and managed by the people who use its service. A community-owned grocery cuts out the middleman, reduces the need for preservatives, and lowers cost. Cooperative farming involves farms owned by a group of farmers. Also, locally grown produce supports local growers and helps the local economy. Co-ops are not new, but they could be making a comeback. Research published by the Worldwatch Institute found that in 2012 approximately 1 billion people in 96 countries had become members of at least one cooperative.
- Foodscaping: Imagine that your entire yard is a potential garden. Foodscaping is a type of landscaping that uses all areas of a property to grow food. This is considered a combination of gardening and landscaping. It is an excellent way to grow vegetables and make your landscaping attractive. According to a report on Nashville Public Radio, foodscaping became more popular due to high food prices as well as the economic downturn of 2008. Foodscaping uses little or no fertilizer or pesticide. The vegetables and herbs make your landscaping both attractive and edible. These plants can be grown both as a part of your landscaping and as part of a traditional garden.
As the saying goes, everything old is new. These new trends recall past days and these responses to economic situations could be constructive. Why not grow your own vegetables?