Geographic location as a variable to Home Gardening Interventions in Rural Indiana


  • Maggie Sutton Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Lynn Witty, MD Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Catherine Meador Indiana University School of Medicine
  • W. Holmes Finch Indiana University School of Medicine



Background/Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate attitudes of a wide variety of persons towards barriers to home gardening and desired interventions for home gardening in multiple locations in the Muncie, Indiana area. The health benefits of gardening are well known, but little research has been done evaluating the ability or interest in home gardening in areas with significant populations of minorities or those with low socioeconomic status. Taste enhancing herbs or fresh and nutritious vegetables in food insecure areas could be invaluable. This study evaluates which interventions were preferred and needed based on geographic location in Muncie. Our hypothesis was that respondents from a garden fair in Muncie would be more likely to want more information than respondents from other locations.

Methods: A survey designed for a research study focusing on barriers to home gardening was deemed to be appropriate to use for analysis for this study, because it included several questions about desired and needed interventions. The survey asked respondents to write contact information if follow-up interventions or classes were desired. Cross tabulation was used to analyze the relationship between multiple variables in the survey.

Results: There is a statistically significant relationship between where the person was surveyed and whether they wanted to sign up for more information. 68.8% of respondents at the Minnetrista Garden Fair desired more information, compared to 0% of respondents at the Yorktown Farmer’s Market.

Conclusion: There was in fact a relationship between location surveyed and desire for more information, but this relationship isn’t as simple as location. The type of event and number of people attending the event also likely impacted results. Scientific/Clinical/Policy Impact and Implications: Results from this study will be used in further work to develop gardening related information and programs for those surveyed who wish to participate.