Residential farming and gardening services are taking hold in some American cities, furthering the homegrown food craze and helping people save money in the process. Assessing "a small but ripe niche market" According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Minneapolis residents are increasingly interested in the idea of growing their own food because they "want to eat locally and organically, and they could save money in the long term."
The newest way to achieve such lofty ecological goals is to hire a personal farmer, a professional who builds a garden of healthy fruits and vegetables, and returns weekly to tend to it. In the Twin Cities, "at least two new residential farming services were launched" in the past few months. Catherine Turner, a lawyer, hired a personal farmer. "This garden has been planned and engineered for greatest yield," she told the Star Tribune.
"Next year, I'd like to do it myself." There are less demanding ways of getting your fill of organic produce, however. Business Courier of Cincinnati reported that community-supported agriculture programs known as CSAs have grown immensely popular. The programs allow consumers to establish a relationship with farms and farmers by becoming a shareholder; a financial commitment earns each CSA member a fresh basket of produce every week or month. The point is to teach people which items are in season, but decreased waste is an added bonus. Melinda O'Briant, a garden manager at Turner Farms, told the Business Courier, "People in our CSA change the way they eat. You get the vegetables, sometimes a lot of them, and you have to figure out how to make sure they're not wasted."