This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Oklahoma Outside Millennial Gardener Lessons from the By Dee Nash


20-30 somethings adjust the gardening lessons taught by previous generations for the modern era.


D


o you ever think about the next generation of gardeners with dismay? You should not. Although you may not see millenni- als, also called “20-30 somethings” at your local daylily or hosta club, they’re out there—and they’re gardening up a storm.


According to the National Gardening Association’s just-published


Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America, the number of households growing their own food increased 17 percent between 2008 and 2013. The largest group growing food was 18 to 34-year-olds. These gardeners are mostly urban and many have children. So, the next time, you’re thinking no one gardens anymore, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. The next generation is committed and has lessons to share. Millennials are also the second largest group buying garden-related


merchandise with baby boomers only a little ahead of them. Does that mean 20-30 somethings are hooked on the latest lawn mower or power tool? No, they’re part of a generation committed to owning less. Have you heard of the “100 Things Challenge?” It’s a grassroots commitment to own only 100 things at a time. Several in their 20s and 30s ascribe to this theory. Instead of maintaining the perfect lawn, they’re more likely to buy containers or raised beds, along with a patio chair to sit and enjoy the view. Concerned about the environment, millennials also try tradi- tional methods of agriculture and hand tools over power tools. Witness the resurgence of the broadfork in organic community gardens, for instance. We may be increasingly concerned about our food supply, but millen-


nials, raised upon environmentalism, know fi xing it is a long-term com- mitment. In the meantime, many grow food for themselves, their children, and their communitiy—one raised bed at a time.


After graduating from college, quite a few in their 20s go on to buy or rent their fi rst real home. Millennials are part of the best-educated genera- tion in America. This group wants to enjoy their freedom; they are not as concerned about climbing the corporate ladder as their parents were. Instead, they may buy a smaller house in an urban area so they can live on one income. Sometimes, that means living in quirky neighborhoods,


42 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


on the edge of becoming cool. This is good because they won’t need to comply with neighborhood covenants and restrictions like those in planned suburban communities. They rely on vertical gardening and other techniques to grow food in smaller spaces. A millennial would tell us to live and garden with less. Millennials see gardening as an extension of their homes. So, they’re willing to spend money on garden accouterments like beautiful containers and outdoor furniture. Although they want to grow food—even in their front yards—many are willing to hire a professional to draft a cohesive design. Edible landscaping is part of their vocabulary, and they want it for their own homes. They could care less about any plant that does not help them, their children or pollinators. What’s the lesson? Grow plants that feed you body and soul while also beautifying your surroundings. They would also tell us not to work so hard and remember why we


garden. While both their parents worked to keep the bills paid on time, millennials are often more concerned with living life to the fullest. Those in their late 20s and early 30s may also be starting families. Mothers and fathers equally want to spend time with their children, and again, they’re willing to make the sacrifi ces needed. They’re passionate about organic gardens, good food and pollinators, and they want to teach their children how to grow.


I don’t know about you, but I fi nd it comforting to see that the lessons taught to this generation weren’t lost. They were simply refi ned for the circumstances that now exist. They have much to teach us too in the garden that we call life. It’s up to us to listen and learn.


_____________________________________


Dee Nash is an avid gardener, and is the author of several books, including “The 20-30 Something Garden Guide, a no-fuss, down and dirty, Gardening 101 for anyone who wants to grow stuff” (2014 St. Lynn’s Press). Dee has three children in that age group, and one knocking on the door.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166