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Food Not Lawns in Mother Earth News

Heather Flores’s Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard Into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community, was featured in an article on edible landscaping in Mother Earth News recently. Take a look below.

Edible Landscaping
By Betsy Model

“Imagine,” chef, cookbook author and local food activist Deborah Madison mused recently, “if our government asked us to respond to the crisis of global warming, diminishing oil and poor health … by planting vegetable gardens.”

Those who lived in the United States and Great Britain during World War II and experienced the food rationing of the 1940s can do more than imagine; they can remember. As part of the war effort, every civilian was encouraged to turn their land and lawns over — literally — to growing food for themselves and for the troops. The millions of yards, vacant lots and converted lawns and flower beds at community centers, school playgrounds and places of worship were called “victory gardens” and were, for many years, a primary source of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes that were difficult to produce during wartime due to reduced manpower and gasoline rationing.

Neighbors shared and swapped produce with neighbors, summer’s bounty was canned or “put by” for winter eating, and many Americans found themselves eating locally in a way not seen since their forefathers immigrated to this country.

If the idea of eating local food, and its related topics (concerns over food availability, affordability, and the high environmental and monetary costs of transporting food over great distances) sound familiar, it’s probably because these issues have been in the news for the last few years. For many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers and a growing collection of authors, food activists and garden experts, fall is the time of year to begin turning over our lawns again, in search of economic, environmental and physical health.

Community activist and author Heather Flores released her book Food Not Lawns: How To Turn Your Yard Into a Garden and Your Neighborhood Into a Community a couple of years ago. It was a radical call for America’s urban dwellers to turn their manicured lawns and backyards into food-producing gardens to benefit not just the dweller but their community as a whole. If the idea seemed a bit revolutionary at the time the book debuted, it now appears to be resonating with Americans in a way not seen since WWII.

Read the full article online at Mother Earth News.

Heather Flores’s Food Not Lawns is available now!


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More

Pass the Walnut Syrup?

Everyone knows and loves maple syrup, and in some states (like Chelsea Green’s home state of Vermont), it’s big business. However, it’s a widespread myth that maples are the only trees that can be tapped to produce sap, according to Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest. Sap can also be collected […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More
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