A recent LSU AgCenter survey of Louisiana home vegetable garden shows a "diamond in the rough," claims LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. The survey estimates that the state had 394,877 home gardens in 2003.
"Considering our average 400-sq. ft. garden producing in summer, fall and winter, the value of these home gardens reaches $118,463,100," Koske says.
"These after-tax dollars savings allow the family paycheck to go farther while keeping nutritious food on the table," the horticulturist adds.
Garden surveys regularly indicate that this savings is not the main reason Louisiana citizens grow vegetables. They garden because they enjoy the very fresh taste of garden produce, enjoy being outdoors, getting the exercise and working with nature. The typical Louisiana gardener is a male senior citizen living in the suburbs.
The AgCenter observed that situation several years ago and listed home gardens and home grounds as a priority area for its agricultural support. Its Horticulture Enhancement Initiative and Louisiana Master Gardener programs are two major AgCenter programs that directly support this resource.
Related yard and garden topics are available by contacting an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office. Also, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture