Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Garden Economy

Gardens, especially vegetable gardens will be booming next spring and summer as the increasing cost of living impacts on household budgets. Healthy living trends will also influence the rediscovery of the benefits of growing fresh vegetables.

The trends influencing this are

· Higher fuel costs resulting in less use of the car for recreation and shopping

· Lower levels of disposable income due to the increase in costs of house mortgages, fuel, foods and goods.

· Higher travel costs for overseas and inter-island travel

· Higher food costs due to energy costs affecting manufacturing and transport

· Decrease in pay for leisure and recreation due to reduced disposable income

· Increased working hours as families try to make up the shortfall in their income levels.

Putting all those together people of all ages and all socioeconomic groups will spend more time at home.

What will they do?

· All forms of home improvement

· All forms of home maintenance

· Vegetable gardening to supplement family income

· Landscaping and garden development to improve the value of the property

· Develop hobbies at home

Benefits received

· Improved health and wellbeing

· Cost saving

· Improved personal fitness

· Improved DIY knowledge and skills

· Improved value of their investment

· Self development as a person

· Increased self sufficiency

· Longer term family sustainability

· Increased financial security.

The focus for this will be the home and land. For those living in apartments maybe some spare land in community gardens, allotments, school gardens or similar.

I will also predict that there will be an investment of both time and money into developing all sorts of energy conservation measures and innovative ideas will emerge for long term sustainability.

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