Edible Landscape.The Modern Way to Curb Your Appetite
Lawn originated in Europe, where the warm moist climate was conducive to lush growth. It came to symbolize money and status and was cultivated on the most prestigious estates. Early immigrants brought the highfalutin concept to North America and I’m pretty sure it was an American with a lawn who first said, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
If you have lawn, then you know that in many parts of this country, it doesn’t grow naturally. Yes, it still symbolize money, but rather than coming in and getting cozy with it, going out. Here it goes…
You install sprinklers that drive up your water bill or tax your well. You douse your lawn with an arsenal of toxic fertilizers and chemical pesticides strong enough to demand signage. You pay one or six workers to mow it, rake it, or spruce it. Sunday, on your only day off, your dog is watching from the steps as you stand in the hot sun scratching those bald spots he made, with a rake. He wants to tell you that green won’t have time to grow under that toupee of hay that you dragged over those seeds because his favorite bone is buried there.
You’re not alone in your obsession with grass. In fact turf is responsible for guzzling 9 BILLION gallons of water per day, and well over 60 MILLION pounds of chemical pesticides. The use of pesticides in our environment are responsible for placing Bumble bees and more than 20 species of butterflies and moths on the endangered list in the United States. Pollinators are dying off and we’re losing our ecological diversity.
One solution that’s growing in popularity on city rooftops and suburban turf is edible landscape. Replacing even a fraction of lawn with an edible garden benefits pollinator, and improves the quality of life on the planet. Food Revolution Network, informs us that “Of course, edible gardens need to be watered, too, but data pulled together by Urban Plantations from the EPA, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency suggests that gardens use 66% less water than lawns.”
You can eliminate the use of pesticides altogether by growing plants that are indigenous. This food revolution is a modern take on the Victory Gardens planted during World War I and II. The gardens were originally the brainchild of George Washington Carver, an American agricultural scientist whose mantra was that the earth provides us with everything we need. Vegetable and fruit gardens were planted in public spaces and residences to increase the countries food supply. People were encouraged to jar and can seasonally.
Edible landscapes can be absolutely gorgeous and possess the curb appeal that home owners crave. The use of native perennials and food producing plants not only provides a lovely aesthetic but an organic clean way to nourish and heal your body and the earth. What’s better than truly fresh food? The benefits are incomparable and the flavors unmatched. In my last house, I walked three sun soaked stone steps out my side door to a bounty of sweet ripe produce before I could repeat “sun soaked stone steps” five times fast, and it was my first adventure with growing food.
Never got your hands dirty? This is a global movement so there are numerous Edible Landscapers available through a quick online search that will partner with you and assist in creating a bit of paradise in your productive garden. They’ll answer any concerns and help you gain access to the best indigenous plants for your lifestyle and the environment. In 2019 we’re fighting an undeclared war and we can’t afford to lose this battle if we’re going to preserve the planets resources. Go! Grab a shovel! Help save the planet!