Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Growing Jobs in Garden Stores

As Oregon's growing season picks up, farmers, gardeners, landscapers, and others turn to nurseries and garden stores for supplies.

There are about two dozen garden supply stores along the Oregon coast, but only 14 of them show up in Oregon Employment Department records for this industry. The others may not have paid employees or may be classified in other, similar, industries. Statewide the growth in store numbers is more noticeable. In 2009, there were 177 nursery, garden and farm supply stores. This rose to an average of 187 in 2010. By the end of 2010, records showed 193 such stores.

Part of the reason for recent growth is an increase in indoor and hydroponic gardening. Dustin Best, owner of the Green Zone gardening store in Lincoln City, opened a new store in Newport a few months ago. He said that business was steady throughout the recession. "People are concerned about the high price of food," he noted, "and want to know what is sprayed on it." Indoor gardening allows people to grow food without pesticides and they can garden all year. His Newport store grew cherry tomatoes during the winter, which proved to be very popular with customers.

Read more about this industry in the full article, written by Regional Economist Erik Knoder (541- 265-8891 x340, or

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