'Amazing' upsurge in veggie-growing amid skyrocketing prices

Demand for veggie seeds has skyrocketed following the pandemic, alongside the surging prices of the produce in supermarkets.

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With prices like $40 per kilo for courgettes, the demand for veggie seeds is increasing. Source: Seven Sharp

Editor of the NZ Gardener Magazine Jo McCarroll said Kiwis often turned to their gardens after massive events like the global financial crisis and the 1970s fiscal shock.

In New Zealand at the moment seed sales of cauliflower and broccoli are up by 50 per cent in some places. 

“The upsurge has been amazing. I know during lockdown, I was hearing about increases of the many hundreds of per cent,” McCarroll says.

How much? Courgettes fetch record price of $21.42 a kilo

She said at her local garden centre, current winter demand was matching that of the normal spring demand. 

“When people are doing it a bit hard, it really helps to go and harvest a few things for dinner that can help stretch your food budget that much further.”

People could also earn the rewards from their hard work in the garden, and may feel more resilient and calm as a result, McCarroll says.

“You don’t have to be self-sufficient, but if you’re seeing a queue at the supermarket, being able to pick a few things in the garden just helps you face that.”

Ms McCarroll said beetroots, carrots, silver beet and peas were some good options for keen gardeners.