Home food grower numbers grow during pandemic

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Half of respondents to a survey on home food growing say they grow at least some sort of food.

Almost 20 per cent report starting growing food at home this year, which explains the run on seeds this spring that meant challenges to the usual supply of seeds for home garden use.

The Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid released the study just before Thanksgiving.

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The survey showed that the pandemic was a large influence on the growth in home food growing.

“The pandemic clearly motivated many people to garden more this year,” said Lisa Mullins, one of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab’s research associates and lead author of the report. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Lab at Dalhousie University and co-author of the report, was surprised by the number of new gardeners in Canada.

“Results show many Canadians remain quite anxious and really wanted to take control of their own food supply chain during a time of great uncertainty.”

More than half of British Columbia and Prairie respondents were food growers and the number was about half of people in Ontario.

About 56 per cent of respondents remain concerned about the food supply, which is about the same percentage for gardeners and non-gardeners.

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