Jason Hyde

Food over lawns

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In the last few decades there has been an awakening. Surely, we still have a long way to go to achieve sustainability in every way and stop draining our earth resources at a scary pace. Yet, we’re entering 2021 with a shift of consciousness.

It’s safe to say the dreaded pandemic of 2020 made its mark and revolutionized the world, as we knew it. Some people even call the time we’re living in right now, the fifth industrial revolution (also known as Industry 5.0 or 5IR). In which technology becomes the king of all possibilities (we’ve seen it already with everything becoming paperless, even banks), big businesses upload their market place and convert them into online shops, leaving no option for smaller businesses to do the same while getting more traffic than in-person shopping. In a way, it became the only way for businesses to truly thrive.

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All of the above has taken an impact on the environment, mostly for the good part. Yet, it’s also made people realize the importance of the way we do what continues to be in person shopping, for example buying food. It has become imperative to find sustainable sources of food, because it’s one of the few things you can’t successfully ship from one corner of the world to the other (no matter how much you pay for expedited shipping). Plus, it’s way more sustainable to source your food from a close distance, for the environment but also so the food cycle actually looks circular and helps communities thrive.

A lot of people also found out recently of the seed shortage we’re going through in an international level. And with everything mentioned adding up, some people are trying to shift the way we garden. And that’s in part how the Food not Lawns movement got momentum and it’s growing at the speed of the light. According to their website Food Not Lawns is an International network of gardeners and activists, sharing food, seeds, tools, land, skills and other resources with each other in neighborhood-based, friendship-driven communities. This website is maintained by Heather Jo Flores, who started Food Not Lawns in 1999 and wrote the book by that title in 2006.

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It basically consists in educating people living in suburban areas with green acres to their names, how to sustainably use their space for more than a green grass and a pretty lawn. Granted, not everyone was born to garden (or even wants to) which is why a lot of the people that identify with the movement, work in neighborhood-based communities taking care of not only their own “lawns” but also their neighbors if they’ll let them. And even if you’re just starting and don’t plan to turn your entire lawn into a edible garden overnight, they have many tips and tricks to share, like starting small “plant fruit trees and spread out from there. Plant things you love to eat. Collaborate with your neighbors to grow different crops and share them. It’s a lot less overwhelming when you’ve got a friendship-based community working together. I also recommend spending the money to hire someone to help you through the first few steps–tearing out the grass, turning the soil, design work. Most people wouldn’t consider putting in a new bathroom or fireplace without professional help, because they know that in the end the system is going to function much better after an expert has had their hand in it. Same goes for gardening. Let somebody help you, and place real value on that.

We invite you to visit their website and learn how to stop wasting time and money on keeping a perfectly green front lawn, and have an edible rainbow at your reach.

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