US (NY): Digging into the gardening boom across Western New York

There’s been a boom in gardening during the pandemic. In fact, according to the National Gardening Association, the pandemic led to more than 18 million new gardeners.

There’s also been a growth in urban gardening. Both are bridging the gap in food deserts, plus, it’s keeping families fed in a time when prices are rising at the grocery store. According to the USDA, food prices will go up 4.5 to 5% this year.

So what does it take to be an urban gardener, or even plant a garden of your own? “I think there are over 20 urban farms in the city of Buffalo alone,” said Mayda Pozantides, founder and farmer with Groundwork Market Garden. It’s been growing over the past seven years. Their mission as urban farmers has been steadfast — make food easily accessible and affordable.

“Part of our mission is to help people grow food at home,” Pozantides said. That part has taken on a whole new meaning and will only continue to. “Especially now more than never, we have seen how delicate our food system can be,” Pozantides said. “We as farmers knew this, but I think this is the first time consumers really felt it when grocery shelves were empty and food prices were going up. What can combat that is this.”


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