More people are growing their own

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MORE people than ever in March have grown their own food this summer, as The Original Factory Shop on Wisbech Road has seen a massive increase in sales of its ‘Grow Your Own’ range of products.

So they decided to dig a little bit deeper and also worked with a food psychologist to find out what is fuelling this trend.

It turns out it’s not only about saving money - people believe everyone would be better off if we lived more simply and worry we’ve become too disconnected from the natural world, now we’re surrounded by fakery, botoxed smiles and synthetic home furnishings.

A survey showed:

· Sales of ‘grow your own’ rose by 165% compared to 2010 including packets of seeds.

· 67% Believe most people would be better off if they lived more simply

· Two thirds worry society has grown too disconnected from the natural world

· 39% have started a home vegetable or fruit garden

Food Psychologist, Dr Christy Fergusson, believes that a return to growing your own can be intellectually challenging, practically satisfying and more meaningful than simply buying from the supermarket: “We live surrounded by artificial items, everything from fake eyelashes to botoxed smiles and synthetic home furnishings. Getting your hands dirty in the garden is an excellent way to reconnect with nature and enjoy that feeling of self-sustenance.”

And it isn’t just the cost benefits that encourage people to grow their own food.

Dr Christy Fergusson adds: “Growing vegetables instead of buying them connects to a higher and deeper sense of purpose. Putting in the effort, time and attention to cultivate your own food lends to a sense of satisfaction and meaning to life.”

Six in 10 respondents to a recent survey admitted that they worry we have become too disconnected from the natural world; another reason why growing your own might seem appealing to the consumer.

In the same report, almost 2/5 of respondents revealed that they have set up a fruit and/or a vegetable garden of their own in a bid to reconnect with the environment.

Tricia Bagge, Store Manager of The Original Factory Shop in March, said: “We began to see an increase in sales of our Grow Your Own ranges back in 2009. At the time, people were becoming more savvy about where food has come from and what’s in it. Growing your own food seemed to be a low cost way of gaining that knowledge and eating organic food.

“Now it seems to be the greater need to get back nature that is driving people to start developing their own fruit and vegetable patches.

“We’ve been delighted to see this trend continue to grow and we’re already planning bigger ranges and more stock for summer 2012.”