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A Look at 2015 Lawn, Garden, and Small Farm Trends

A Look at 2015 Lawn, Garden, and Small Farm Trends

As I stare out my window at the glistening snow-covered landscape today, I can’t help feeling a sense of optimism and hopefulness for the coming year. Not only am I excited for my own pursuits, I’m also eager to see the ideas and hard work of our customers continue to progress. Throughout the nation, there seems to be a shift taking place. More folks are returning to the land and taking an interest in our agrarian roots, whether it’s through gardening, landscaping, hobby farming or larger agricultural projects. Just the other day, an article published by NPR titled “A Younger Generation Sees Greener Pastures in Agriculture” told of the resurgence of gardening and farming among the 20- and 30-something generation. The article concluded by saying how this new generation is making agriculture “cool” again. With this in mind, here’s what I see happening in 2015.

Young People and Agriculture

Small-scale agriculture will continue to attract younger people in 2015. Most of these people will be first generation farmers and come from a college-educated background. Ditching the office cubicle for fresh air and sunshine, their operations will be very niche specific; producing goods like grass-fed beef, organic produce, artisan cheese, raw honey, fresh eggs, craft beer, and much more. I see locally-produced agriculture becoming even more popular in 2015, with farmers markets growing larger. More restaurants, including well-known chains, will jump onboard by sourcing locally-produced items and ingredients. It’s an exciting time to be involved in agriculture.

A New Generation of Gardeners

While backyard farming and small-scale agriculture continue to grow in popularity, so will gardening and landscaping. The new year will see more millennials investing in their outdoor surroundings, but it probably won’t be the same way their parents do it. In 2015, millennials will demand more environmentally friendly landscaping. Pollinator gardening will be a major focus as more people come to understand how much we rely on these animals. Gardening trends will also incorporate more naturalistic approaches, and gardening styles will take on an informal look. Native plants and water-wise landscaping will continue to grow, especially in California where drought is likely to continue into the new year. In 2015, I see millennials and other generations coming together to incorporate environmental consciousness, beauty, and functionality into some of the most remarkable landscapes our country has ever seen.

Rise of Alternative Lawns

The great American lawn is also changing, and this will continue into 2015. While homeowners will always want an open place for recreating in their yards, how they go about achieving this is changing. With home-buying millennials leading the way, more and more people in 2015 will begin experimenting with non-traditional lawns. Buffalograss lawns will become more common, along with other low-maintenance grasses like sheep fescue, blue grama, and streambank wheatgrass. Others will partner their lawns with wildflowers to create a natural, meadow-like look. In 2015, I see more professional lawn care services begin offering an organic service option. Of course, the traditional lawn will still play a prominent role in the landscape, but its use and function will be more carefully planned.

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