Check out the top sellers in the Gardening and Horticulture section at Amazon.com. As a person who makes their living working with gardeners it's a signpost for the future as we decide which direction the garden center is to take. So far what we have done at the nursery mirrors what people are reading. The number one seller is "The Orchard". "The Orchard is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm...she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll." The books theme is mirrored in people's concerns about food safety, and the reason many are starting to, "grow their own".
The number two best seller this week is, "The All-New Square Foot Gardening Guide".
The number three best seller is, "Marijuana Horticulture, The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Growers Guide". Make sure you throw "Medical" in the title. Don't want anyone misunderstanding.
Number five is, "The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses." Your nursery staff is up to date on the latest "Deep Organic Techniques", aren't they?
Here is the complete list of best sellers in the gardening and horticulture section at Amazon. Further into the list we see books on homesteading, beekeeping, making your own wine, seed saving, projects to get you off the grid, root cellaring, more marijuana, and mushrooms demystified.
Looks like the main theme here is self-sufficiency, or self-reliance. We have geared our garden center towards these themes over the last couple of years. People want to grow organically any thing they consume. They want to save the harvest to enjoy during the winter, and are concerned about the direction that large agribusiness is headed. With "Founding Fathers: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation" sitting at number 18 we see people looking to our past, and finding horticultural inspiration for our future.
This is where the interest is in horticulture at this particular time in our history. It would seem that someone in the business of horticulture could look at this list, and build a business around the ideas contained in these books.