More people may be going to the garden instead of the grocery store after local nurseries saw an increase in vegetable seed sales this spring and summer.
"People are looking at how they're spending money more carefully," said Marcy Plattner, owner of the Garden Spot. She added that economic conditions are causing some people to hunker down and plant more edibles in their gardens.
Interest in the garden industry appears to be on the rise in Whatcom County. The amount of money spent locally on lawn and garden products jumped 36 percent from $12.9 million in 2006 to $17.1 million in 2007, according to the Washington state Department of Revenue.
While vegetable seed sales were on the rise, some nurseries reported that sales were up and down in other products this summer, partly because of the sluggish economy and partly because of the rainy August weather.
People bought modestly, said Sharon Hougan, co-owner of Hi Hoe Nursery in Lynden. Fewer people were doing big landscape jobs and were taking on smaller projects instead, she said.
Seed packets were popular this year and were one way for people to save money on their garden and their groceries, said Toni Clark, co-owner of Bakerview Nursery & Garden Center.
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