America's 33 million food gardening households continue to make a significant contribution to the nation's economic well-being. Plots that ranged in size from a container or two on a patio to spreads of several thousand square feet brought the combined backyard acreage under vegetables last year to 1.2 million acres, producing food valued at $9.2 billion, retail. Meanwhile, more American households took part in some form of lawn or garden activity this past year than ever before -- up 3 million from 1984, to 71 million. (This jump reflects the increase in the number of households in the United States and does not denote a percentage increase in the number of gardeners.)
These are some of the preliminary findings of an annual survey that is sponsored by the National Gardening Association and conducted by the Gallup Organization. The complete results of the survey will be available early next year.