Eat Your Lawn

The subtitle to “Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!” by edible gardeners Rosalind Creasy with Cathy Wilkinson Barash is “If more Americans grew a little food — instead of so much grass — our savings on grocery bills would be astounding.”

As I read that, I thought, and we’d save in all sorts of other ways too. For example, we’d save time and WATER. Watering a garden produces food, and watering well mulched gardens doesn’t take all that much water, even here in Colorado. On the other hand, bluegrass lawns in desert climates rank high on my list of pet peeves. They represent mindless conformity and WASTE. (Don’t believe me? Go back and read my old post “Death to Infidel Lawns!”)

People are starting to catch on, but not enough people and not fast enough. A few years ago, I saw an article in a local paper that neighbors were up in arms because some fellow had tilled up his lawn and planted vegetables. I thought the guy ought to have been given some sort of award for patriotism and good sense.

With the current economic conditions, I doubt that he’d take all the heat he once did. In fact, I’m starting to see more and more small patches of food creeping into suburbia.

Some are even showing up as formal versions of my raised beds. For the past ten years, I’ve planted my main garden in recycled galvanized stock tanks, leaky items that’d piled up as we switched the horses over to safer Rubbermaid tanks. When I started using old stock tanks for my garden, leaky tanks were easy to come by and usually free. Now, I’ve had to pay for the tanks I’ve added. Some magazine (Sunset?) published an article on the idea, and now it’s almost fashionable to plant in an old stock tank. I now see them all spiffy with high gloss enamel in yards all over the place.

Here’s my array in its first year. The photo was taken in August of 2000. Since then, I’ve disposed of the tractor tires because of the potential zinc contamination and added some more galvanized tubs. My total square footage though is still under 200 square feet. And our freezer still has peppers and tomatoes and tomatillos to carry me through to the new harvest.

Planting vegetables instead of grass is economically sound, ecologically sound, and, if one uses raised beds, easier to maintain than lawns. I consider growing vegetables a political statement as well as a sound investment of time and money. I still say it. Death to Infidel Lawns!



One Response to “Eat Your Lawn”

  1. Babz Says:

    It’s also a positive impact socially. Sharing our goods every week at the farmer’s market, comparing success and failure, giving and getting helpful advice- “grows” the community together in this high tech addicted world. “Gardening” means a lot more than one thing.

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