Rethinking the Lawn
Edible Estates: Multiple Locations
The suburban American lawn is the country’s largest irrigated crop. Consumers spend $11 billion per year on water, pesticides, fertilizers and gas. The environmental cost are high; they include chemically-tainted streams, excessive water and energy consumption, and air pollution from mowers and leaf blowers. Edible Estates is an ongoing project by Fritz Haeg that replaces front lawns with productive food gardens. The first regional prototype garden was planted in Salina, Kansas, on July 4th, 2005, and it included fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs and vegetables. Edible Estates owners report that gardening in the front yard has reconnected them to their communities. In addition, the increased biodiversity of multicrop planting enriches the soil and attracts beneficial insects. One California couple says their new yard garden supplies about 40 percent of what they eat.
[Image Credit: Ed Morris and Curtis Hamilton]