April 29, 2023

Food Not Lawns

In some places this fantastic food not lawns yard would be illegal.
Solution? Change the laws.

Our post called Grow Food Not Lawns is the second most viewed on our blog. For a couple of good reasons.

First, lawn grass is one of the largest, and most useless crops grown. And secondly, throughout the life of this blog it has been getting more and more expensive to buy food.

The lawn situation is not surprising. The way we show wealth in consumer nations is by wasting money. 

You are considered wealthy when you show that you can afford to waste money, like on growing a crop that serves no nutritional purpose, and is a biodiversity wasteland as an added bonus.

I admit that I enjoy the looks of a large expanse of well-manicured lawn, but they should probably be limited to parks and pastures. 

For most people a huge, lush lawn is a luxury they can't afford.

If a fraction of residential lawns were repurposed for growing food, we could go a long way toward increasing food security and local self-reliance.

Big box grocery stores, where most people get their food if they aren't getting it at the local food bank, are run by billionaire families. 

Such stores do not exist to feed us and our communities. They exist to make a profit for the one family and its shareholders.

The instant your local food store fails to increase the coffers of the billionaire family, is the moment that you and your loved ones will find yourselves in a food desert.

"A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In contrast, an area with greater access to supermarkets and vegetable shops with fresh foods may be called a food oasis."

Here's an idea - start your own food oasis. Start it today, in your yard where your lawn used to be.

Join the Food Not Lawns Movement, increase your food security and save money at the same time.

Building a personal food oasis right at home, or getting stranded in a food desert is a choice we can make.

Any and all efforts help, whether it is a raised bed garden, containers, or a window box.

Make gardening great again!



  1. Great post!!! I agree thoroughly. Absolutely LOVE seeing front lawns growing food (and flowers for the beauty and the bees)! It's not illegal here and I find it so....weird....that it's illegal anywhere?! I heard in some places overseas you can't line dry your washing either, or collect rainwater. This is very strange. Almost every one in NZ does both those things as routine (I guess except apartment dwellers, but it's not because it's illegal). And although having a good vege garden is super common here as well, up until recently it's usually been something people have in their back yards. The last couple of years though I think we've seen a huge increase in growing your own and people are starting to use every space they have. Certainly locally I can go for a walk and extract enormous joy seeing raised beds and fruit trees in the front yard....things of great beauty :)

  2. I live in an older part of the city, an area with huge old houses built in the 1910s and 1920s (my own building was built in 1926). This is a popular area that is both suffering and being enriched by gentrification: Many of the huge houses are being turned into multiple dwellings, which in my view is a good thing; multiple dwellings means sometimes having to make room for up to four vehicles per lot instead of one and this has created issues with heavy competition for on-street parking. That being the case, many of what used to be back yards with a bit of lawn, a flower bed or two and a vegetable patch have been taken over with garages and parking pads. About eight blocks from me, on another street, there are two big old three-storey houses sitting side by side that have each been renovated into two-family homes. The homes themselves are beautiful, but what has been done with the pair of front yards is both beautiful and encouraging. The homeowners (maybe one owner, who knows) have obviously planned this together - each front yard has a plum and an apple tree, beautifully kept raised beds filled with varieties of vegetables raised for both consumption and their brilliant colours, and swathes of perennial flowers à la an English country cottage garden. This pair of houses is one of my "joy spots" and I make passing them, both to and from, part of my daily power walk three seasons of the year.

    1. Anonymous5/03/2023

      Those older homes are amazing. Nova Scotia has many of them also converted into suites. I particularly like the big windows, and their yards with huge established trees and gardens. Goes to show that monster homes are nothing new. It makes me wonder what people were doing 100 or 200 years ago to amass the wealth to be able to afford to build and maintain them.

      A daily power walk is a very good idea, and something I am always thinking about. But not doing yet... Thanks for the inspiration.

      - Gregg


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