“ In the next year , more than food , I think cannabis will be a huge driving force because of the pharmaceutical components ,” Arthur said . “ Cannabis is going to be what ultimately gets millennials hooked . The difference between what the cannabis industry has cultivated in the dark and on the down low is that it ’ s a hobby . It ’ s a lifestyle . It ’ s a huge part of the grower ’ s identity , and Knock Out ® roses aren ’ t .”
Regardless of your stance on marijuana , gardening must become a lifestyle brand to be relevant . If we ’ re looking to other industries for inspiration , at least consider why our recently legalized neighbors are so popular .
LOCATION , LOCATION , LOCATION
The biggest difference in edible gardening today is where crops grow : Not on acres of farmland , but on patios , vertical walls , rooftops and even front yards . Safe , local food sourcing is so important to a generation that ’ s literally sick of commercially produced food recalls , that they ’ ll grow anywhere .
“ People get really excited about growing food in spaces that aren ’ t traditionally used for growing vegetables like rooftops , alleys and parking lots ,” said Jessie Banhazl , founder and chief executive officer of Green City Growers , which installs and maintains organic urban farms in unconventional places . “ The garden of the future will optimize space to use every inch of land functionally .”
Be sensitive to these limited spaces and regional differences . Rooftop conditions in Boston differ vastly from Arthur ’ s backyard in North Carolina , so there ’ s no one-size-fits-all solution . This gives communicators an opportunity to leverage their local or niche expertise through tailored DIY instruction .
WHAT ’ S THE PURPOSE ?
New generations of food gardeners aren ’ t “ gardeners ” at all . They ’ re incredibly diverse in where , how and why they grow food . Writers should communicate the multi-functional value of plants — whether it ’ s the fern-like foliage of carrots planted in containers , or the way pumpkins planted in wet areas absorb water .
“ What we offer makes life better psychologically , ecologically , nutritionally ,” Arthur said . “ This is a great way to promote the value of growing plants in a more meaningful way .”
Brooke N . Bates is an award-winning journalist and published author based in Cleveland . She contributes regularly to multiple horticultural trade publications , while also developing content for small businesses , marketing agencies and health organizations around the country . Her website is www . bantamedia . com .
HOTOFF the press
Brie Arthur The Foodscape Revolution : Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden St . Lynn ’ s Press 192 pages , $ 21.95 To be published March 15 , 2017
The Foodscape Revolution is a new way of looking at public and private spaces , where aesthetics and function operate together to benefit individuals and entire communities . You don ’ t need to dig up your yard to grow your favorite veggies , fruits and grains . Grow food alongside your flowers . Through foodscaping , you can harness the sunny , open spaces already in prime spots and add your favorite edibles like kale , tomatoes , peppers , eggplants , lettuce and carrots . A blueberry hedge ? Why not ? Have your landscape and eat it too .
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Kylee Baumle The Monarch : Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly St . Lynn ’ s Press 160 pages , $ 18.95 To be published April 7 , 2017
Today , an army of citizen-scientists , students and gardeners is engaged in restoring this beloved pollinator ’ s habitat — the wildflowers , milkweed and feeding corridors — so that one of nature ’ s most beautiful creatures will still be there for generations to come . And it starts in our own backyards . The Monarch showcases this magnificent butterfly with eye-popping photos , fun facts about a monarch ’ s life cycle and things to know about the vital role that pollinators play in our ecosystem . It includes action projects for all ages , from planting milkweed and wildflowers to making butterfly watering stations and even volunteer activism .
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Megan Cain Smart Start Garden Planner : Your Step-by-Step Guide Published by Megan Cain , The Creative Vegetable Gardener
136 pages , $ 24.95 Published January 27 , 2017
This workbook guides you through strategically determining what you want to grow by understanding the important details of each vegetable . It helps you to know when to plant a seed or a plant , how to choose the best varieties for your garden and how to create a spring planting schedule .
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Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz Gardening with Foliage First : 127 Dazzling Combinations that Pair the Beauty of Leaves with Flowers , Bark , Berries , and More Timber Press 324 pages , $ 24.95 Published February 2017
Gardening with Foliage First shows home gardeners how to first build a framework of foliage and then layer in flowers and other artistic elements to add the finishing touches . This simple , recipe-style approach to garden design works for a variety of climates and garden challenges , including dry environments , shade and even the problem of deer . This lively book has something for every gardener . Beginners will learn how to choose the right foliage plants , and experienced gardeners will be inspired by fresh twists on old favorites .
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Heather Holm Bees : An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide Pollination Press 224 pages , $ 29.95
Published February 2017
This well-illustrated guide captures the beauty , diversity and engaging world of bees and the native plants that support them . This is an indispensable source of information with extensive profiles for 27 bee genera , plus 12 mini profiles for uncommon genera . It also includes approximately 100 native trees , shrubs , and perennials for the Midwest , Great Lakes and Northeast regions . Bees includes more than 1,500 stunning photographs ,
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