In rural states, gardening and foraging helpe

Corn Seedlings


Person plants corn seedlings

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Credit: Sally McCay

New research on rural New Englanders shows that gardening, hunting, fishing and other HWFP activities are important tools for maintaining food security through extreme events, such as pandemics or climate change events. 

University of Vermont and University of Maine researchers found that both food insecurity and home and wild food production (HWFP) – gardening, hunting, fishing, foraging, and having “backyard” poultry or livestock – increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who undertook HWFP activities exhibited improved food security 9-12 months later.  

The paper, published in Scientific Reports, surveyed over 1,000 individuals in rural Vermont and Maine (the two most rural states in the country) to identify their food security and food sources. 

Researchers hope that policymakers will consider how HWFP might lead to a more resilient food system. “Home and wild food production is not a silver

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Home gardening surge continues, offers inflation relief

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s no secret that home gardening boomed once the pandemic hit.

Nurseries and garden stores around the country and here in metro Detroit saw supply shortages as seeds and equipment flew off the shelves.

In a report published this year, researchers from the University of California Davis found that during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were gardening for a variety of reasons, including having more free time and wanting to connect with nature.

The survey, which was conducted during the summer of 2020, also reported that 81 percent of respondents had concerns about food access, particularly with exposure to the virus while obtaining food, and selection and quantities at the store.

Now, more than two years into the pandemic, inflation is higher than many people have seen in their lifetimes. One of the areas we’re feeling that most? Food.

According to the USDA’s

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