Looking for the best backyard farming and homesteading statistics? With a resurgence of interest in backyard farming and homesteading, more people are choosing to grow their own food and reconnect to eating locally and raising their own animals. The facts below paint a picture of homesteading and backyard farming with 50 statistics that … We’ve also included below are micro-farming statistics, urban farming statistics and other related practices.
Homesteading Statistics: Food Production
- Urban agriculture could produce up to 180 million metric tons of food a year—around 10 percent of the current global output of vegetable crops (legumes, roots and tubers, and vegetables) according to a study by Matei Georgescu, at Arizona State University and along with researchers at Arizona State, Google, China’s Tsinghua University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Hawaii.
- According to the same study above, this makes urban agriculture worth up to $160 billion annually around the globe.
- If Cleveland took advantage of urban agriculture, Cleveland (population of 400,000) could meet 100% of its urban dwellers’ vegetable needs, 50% of their poultry and egg requirements and 100% of the demand for honey. (source)
- An average 10×20 garden plot in New York City can produce up to $700 worth of food each year. (source)
- Rise in Chickens: The number of backyard chickens in the United States increased by 582% between 2015 and 2020. (Source: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association)
- Self-Sufficiency Goals: In a survey, 91% of homesteaders cited self-sufficiency as the primary reason for adopting a homesteading lifestyle. (Source: The Prairie Homestead)
- Vegetable Production: Home gardeners produced over 1.6 billion pounds of vegetables in the United States in 2020, with tomatoes, sweet corn, and peppers being the most commonly grown crops. (Source: National Gardening Survey)
- Livestock on Homesteads: 55% of homesteaders raise livestock, with chickens, goats, and cows being the most popular choices. (Source: The Prairie Homestead)
- Honey Production: The United States produced 157.3 million pounds of honey in 2020, with many homesteaders keeping their own beehives. (Source: USDA)
- Home Canning: In 2020, 51% of home gardeners preserved their own fruits and vegetables through canning or other methods. (Source: National Gardening Survey)
- Organic Gardening: Around 21% of home gardeners in the U.S. use organic gardening methods, emphasizing sustainability and reduced chemical use. (Source: Statista)
- Rise in Farmers’ Markets: The number of farmers’ markets in the United States increased by 74% between 2008 and 2020, providing a platform for many homesteaders to sell their produce. (Source: USDA)
- Community Gardening: An estimated 25% of community gardens in the U.S. focus on promoting self-sufficiency and food security. (Source: American Community Gardening Association)
Homesteading Statistics: Changes
- Urban farming has grown more than 30% in the last 30 years (source)
- Hydroponic vertical urban farming is the fastest growing sector of urban farming and is expected to double in the next 5 years. (source)
- 43 million American households planted vegetable gardens in 2009 (an increase from 19 percent over 2008, according to the National Gardening Association.
- 81% of hydroponic farms in the world are in the United States. (source)
- Hobby beekeepers have increased from 75,000 in the mid-1990’s to 200,000 today according to Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine.
- There has been a 60 % increase in sales from 2007 to 2009 in Ball and Kerr Home-canning supplies (the biggest hike since the 1970s). “The economy is certainly a factor,” he says, “but so is the growing interest in gardening and fresh food.” Chris Scherzinger, general manager of Jarden Home Brands, maker of Ball and Kerr home-canning supplies.
- Vertical farming can dramitically increase foor production. When strawberries are planted vertically, it can result in as much as a 3000% increase compared to traditional growing. (source)
- Rise in Urban Agriculture: By 2017, 35% of American households were growing food either at home or in a community garden, according to the National Gardening Association. (Source: National Gardening Association)
- Community Garden Growth: The American Community Gardening Association reported a 44% increase in community gardens in the United States between 2008 and 2018. (Source: American Community Gardening Association)
- Backyard and home gardening accounted for 35% of global agricultural production by 2017, contributing significantly to food security in many countries. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization)
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the sales of agricultural products from urban farms and community gardens exceeded $1 billion in 2015. (Source: USDA)
Homesteading Statistics: Benefits Beyond Food Production
- The presence of urban farms is associated with “improved neighborhood aesthetics, reduced crime, and community cohesion.” According to several studies cited by John Hopkins. Also of note is that a community garden improved, property values in the area. (Source)
- Grow Calgary is Canada’s largest community urban farm with over 20,000 volunteers.
- Urban farmers are less likely to eat unhealthy food (source)
- In developing countries, home gardens and backyard farming systems provided 18% of the food supply by 2012, contributing to food security. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization)
- One estimate suggested that 20% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could be reduced through urban agriculture and home gardening. (Source: Worldwatch Institute)
- In sub-Saharan Africa, home gardens and small-scale farming systems have provided up to 80% of the food supply, making them essential for food security in the region. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization)
- Various governments have implemented programs to promote urban and backyard farming. For example, Cuba’s “Organopónicos” initiative, which promotes organic urban agriculture, produced 90% of the vegetables consumed in Havana. (Source: Worldwatch Institute)
Homesteading Statistics: Historic Facts about Backyard Farming
- The first adaptation of urban farming in the United States was on vacant lots in Detroit Michigan in 1893, under the direction of its then mayor Hazon Pingree. (source)
- During the great depression, urban farming farms produced over $1 million worth of food ($15.7 million adjusted for inflation in 2016). (source)
- Studies have shown that home gardeners consume more fruits and vegetables, which can lead to improved health and nutrition. (Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
- A 40 x 50 meter plot of rooftop with grass (uncut) can absorb over 2000 kg of pollutants . (source)
- Historical Importance: During World War II, Victory Gardens, which were essentially backyard gardens, produced up to 40% of all the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States. (Source: National WWII Museum)
What is homesteading, Urban Farming, and Backyard Farming?
Homesteading, urban farming, and backyard farming are distinct approaches to sustainable and self-sufficient food production. Homesteading is a lifestyle that involves living off the land, typically in rural or semi-rural areas, and encompasses various self-sufficiency practices like growing food, raising livestock, and reducing reliance on external resources. Urban farming, on the other hand, is the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals within city or suburban environments. It often involves repurposing vacant lots, rooftops, or community gardens to produce fresh, locally sourced food, contributing to urban sustainability and food security.
Backyard farming refers to the practice of growing fruits, vegetables, and sometimes small livestock in one’s own residential backyard, whether in urban, suburban, or rural settings, with a focus on supplementing household food supplies, reducing food miles, and fostering a deeper connection to the food production process. All these practices share a commitment to sustainable, small-scale agriculture, but they differ in scale, location, and self-sufficiency goals.
How to Get Started Growing your Own Food
Are you looking to get started growing your own food? There are many easy ways to get started. Whether you want to grow food in an apartment, or are looking to start homesteading on 5 acres or more there are easy steps you can take to get started.
Choose the things you want to grow that you regularly eat and begin small. Focus on providing good soil, regular water and plenty of sun, and use your time to read up and research! See our article on how to get started homesteading and become part of the movement to grow your own food!