Home Gardening Appears to be a Growing Trend in Midland

MIDLAND - With the economy hitting the brakes, gardening is a growing trend across the country, and it's starting to sprout right here in the Basin.

On the outside, the resident in the 3600 block of Godfrey Court looks like your typical Midland home. Inside, however, James Cross has something most Midlanders don't: A growing source of food.

"If I want a tomato, and want to go outside and pick it, I want that available," Cross said.

Both Cross and his wife have been urban farmers for years. Since moving into their new home, he's brought all his know-how and vegetables with him.

"All kinds of peppers, as you can see onions, and lettuce, anything you can grow at home pretty much," Cross explained.

He said it's been a good, healthier, and cheaper way to get organic foods in his regular diet. In fact, he puts all of his information for others to read online. He, however, isn't the only West Texan with a green thumb.

Managers at La Casa Verde in Midland told NewsWest 9 they've seen a pick-up in sales.

"It has surprised us a little bit. Even though we're not in spring yet, our season has not really hit us yet, but we've had a huge demand for vegetable seeds and vegetable plants for this early in the season," Manager Russell Johnson explained.

Johnson said the tough economy could be a reason why many are gardening.

"Maybe it's because people are traveling a little bit less, it's a great form of entertainment, it's way less expensive than traveling," Johnson said. "It's less expensive than going fishing and driving two hours just to get to a lake from Midland. It's less expensive than going to the movies probably every weekend."

It's too early to tell whether the trend will last, but either way farmers say it's a skill anyone can learn.

"The main key is to just get out enjoy it," Johnson added. "It's good for you, fresh air, sunshine, exercise and its great mental therapy."

A lot of information is available online if you want to learn how to farm in your own home. James Cross runs Doubledanger.com. He said he has put step-by-step walkthroughs of how to get started.