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2010年3月16日 农业报道-------美国菜园增加而向专家讨教种植知识

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AGRICULTURE REPORT - Rise in Food Gardens in US Brings Crop of Questions for Experts


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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

Call it "recession gardening" or a product of the local foods movement. But, whatever the reason, more Americans are growing some of their own food. Or at least they are trying to.


Many need advice from experts like the master gardeners at the University of Maryland Extension service. The extension service has launched "Grow It Eat It." This campaign is a response to what they call "the huge new demand" for information and help with home gardens. Master gardeners from throughout the state are helping less experienced people learn how to work the land.


Food gardeners can join a network and put their garden on a map on the extension service Web site. The goal: one million food gardeners in Maryland "producing their own affordable, healthy food." The current count of food gardeners is around five thousand statewide.


Nationally, sales of garden supplies increased last year as people started or expanded food gardens. Sales rose thirty percent at Burpee, a major seller of seeds.


Shannon Dill is the extension agent for Talbot County, Maryland. She says the weak economy is not the only reason people are trying to grow their own food to save money.

Shannon Dill是马里兰Talbot 郡的扩展代表。她表示,低靡的经济状况并不是人们试图自己种食物以节省开支的唯一原因。

Prices for fruits and vegetables at the store are up. Shannon Dill finds that growing food at home usually costs less than buying it at stores or restaurants. She also finds that people seem to be staying home more, so they have more time to work in the garden. And, she says, "People like to know where their food is coming from."

水果和蔬菜的市场价格有所上升。Shannon Dill发现,在家里种植食物一般比去商店或餐馆购买更省钱。她还发现,人们似乎有更多时间呆在家里,因此他们有更多的时间在菜园劳作。“人们期望知道他们吃的食物源自哪里”,她表示。

But sometimes people choose the wrong plants for the local growing conditions. Or they plant at the wrong time. Or they plant seeds too close together or in poor soil or without enough daily sunlight. Master gardeners can help people avoid mistakes.


Nancy Garrison started the first master gardener program in Santa Clara County, California, almost thirty years ago. She says organic material such as leaf mulch, also called leaf mold, can almost always improve poor soil. Once the soil is improved, she says, then "worms can do a lot of your work for you."

大约30年前,Nancy Garrison在加州Santa Clara郡创始了第一个主园艺项目。她表示类似于leaf mulch(也称为leaf mold)这样的有机物几乎总是能改善贫瘠土壤。她表示,一旦土壤肥率提升,“蠕虫就能帮你做很多事情。”

A vegetable garden in front of a house may not seem unusual in rural areas. But a lawyer who lives in suburban Maryland, outside Washington, grew squash, cucumbers and tomatoes on his front lawn last year. How did his neighbors react? He says many of them congratulated him on his garden.


And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I’m Bob Doughty.

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