A growing number of gardeners are adopting more organic methods of growing their produce, with some encouraging their neighbours to do the same.
But it may be worth reconsidering what a garden is really for.
A growing number are adopting a more holistic approach to gardening, which is embracing what the New Scientist article calls “natural beauty, organic food and sustainable farming”.
But for some, the growing popularity of growing in a “closed” space is pushing them towards an increasingly “closed, commodified” way of growing.
In the UK, around one in five households now have an indoor garden, according to the UK government, but there are now over 40 million people in the country who don’t have a garden at home.
There are now around 5.3 million people living in households with no garden at all, according the UK Homeownership Survey.
In the past few years, the number of UK households that do not have gardens has increased by almost a quarter, to a whopping 9.1 million, accordingto the National Farmers’ Union.
This has been driven by the rise of online gardeners who have created and promoted “self-sustaining gardens”, which allow the owners to manage their own produce and also offer the public a chance to see and try the fruits of their labour.
These new types of gardens are becoming more popular because of the growing trend of small, local businesses, which offer a different perspective on growing food.
According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, “smaller, local farms are the fastest-growing segment of the UK food supply chain” and “provide food to local communities for the first time”.
“There are many reasons to be proud of the small farmer and their ability to take control of their own lives,” said Sarah Stacey, head of research and innovation at the National Farm & Farm Credit Union.
“There is less waste, less pesticide use and fewer toxic chemicals in their produce.”
A small garden can also provide a way for a family to “get on with it”, and “get out of the house” without spending a fortune on new technology.
A recent study by the National Horticultural Association found that “small scale” farms are often a way of “showing that you can grow a food product in a small area, rather than spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a large scale farm.”
The report found that the vast majority of small-scale farms in the United Kingdom are owned by families who have never set foot in the farm, or are still in the process of doing so.
They are often set up in rural areas, where people are often unable to access the land.
“People who grow vegetables and herbs in their own gardens, and who are able to get to know the area, are also very good at keeping things under control,” said Rachel Riggs, a food scientist and member of the National Farmer’s Federation.
“If you have a family with a garden, it can be very rewarding to be able to work on a small- to medium-sized farm in a rural area, where you can see the results of what you’re doing.”
Gardeners often choose to grow food on their own, or in their backyard, which can be a more sustainable and less environmentally-damaging option.
According to a recent study, in the Netherlands, “organic” is the most commonly-used term for gardeners, with “local” and gardeners’ terms used less frequently.
It is also becoming easier to grow organic food in supermarkets, as “local produce” is increasingly being listed as a category on the labels.
“We are at a time where farmers are using a lot of their income on rent to keep up with their garden,” said Riggs.
“They are being able to do that because there are a lot more places in the world where people can go to buy vegetables and produce that is organic.”
But some gardeners worry that growing food on a garden could negatively impact the environment.
In January, the Environmental Audit Agency reported that “largely unregulated” growers of garden produce were polluting landfills and harming the environment with their waste.
“It is difficult to assess the impact of these practices on the environment as they are not regulated,” said EFA executive director, Paul Trew, “but we believe they can have an impact.”
A growing list of local authorities across the UK are also encouraging the growing of gardens.
In 2015, more than 70 local authorities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced laws allowing residents to grow their own food, including fruits and vegetables.
The laws, which have been in place since 2013, allow residents to “grow or grow-in” any garden they wish on their property.
However, the laws have been challenged by the Environment Agency, who warned that it would “require a substantial investment