Front Lawn Versus Edible Gardens: You Choose!

Front Lawn Versus Edible Gardens: You Choose!

by / 33 Comments / 308 View / January 10, 2009

I want to know if edible front yards are dethroning lawns in your neighborhood?

From the amount of coverage  the subject is getting from news papers and prominent garden bloggers like my friend Susan Harris over at The Sustainable Gardening Blog,  you'd think that the movement to replace lawns with edible gardens is a popular one, at least among gardeners.

 

cucumber-beets-onion1 It  seems as though garden blog readers are really "eating this up." 

So what are you doing about it?

 

Are you a member of the choir who says "Amen" but hasn't made a commitment yet?

How many homes in your neighborhood have made a change?

 

 

Display garden of an "edible front yard" by artist and author of "Edible Estates, Fritz Haeg at Descanso Gardens in Los Angeles.

 

As for me, my garden is a "grazer's garden" where you can grab from an assortment of fruit trees, vines and edible plants as you walk around my yard.

I have a tiny patch of lawn for my dog.

I've created a couple of "dedicated" edible front yards for clients (only edible plants,nothing else), and plenty of edible landscapes, but I haven't seen many people doing this in my neighborhood.

 

  

Fritz Haeg installed a strawberry patch on one side of the walkway and a lawn on the other for comparison.

 

  Kitchen Gardens International, a popular blog and social network for edible garden enthusiast led a campaign to influence  President Barak Obama to "Eat the View," or replace the White House lawn with an edible garden as an example for the nation.

They were heard!

First Lady Michelle Obama has already dug into her new edible garden!

Here is a portion of the official petition verbage written by Kitchen Gardens international, Roger Doiron:

 

"I'm asking President-elect Obama to replant a large organic food garden or Victory Garden on the White House lawn with part of produce going to the White House kitchen and the rest to local food pantries.

The White House is "America's House" and should set a healthy example at a time of crisis.

President-elect Obama would not be breaking with tradition, but returning to it (the White House has had fruit and vegetable gardens before) and showing how we can meet global challenges such as food security, climate change, and energy independence."

 

I think this is a noble effort and I love the idea of functional and beautiful yards, but now that the White House has adopted this, do you really think it will make a difference in your neighborhood?

 I'd welcome the boom in business converting lawns to edible gardens and tending to them here in Los Angeles!

 

It's easy to ask someone else to make a change in their home, (especially when there is full time staff available to tend to the plot), but what about the everyday family that's working overtime and managing the lives of their children?

 

Unfortunately, the majority of people don't have enough time to tend  their own gardens, or they don't want to!

Edible gardens are a joy, but I wouldn't consider them to be "low maintenance."

 

How about those of you who signed the petition?
 
Have you replaced your front yard lawn with an edible garden or are you planning to in the near future?
 
If you haven't, I understand- it's work!
 
I guess the larger question is, are those who support this petition willing to make the same sacrifice that we are asking others to make?
 
  

Mixed lettuces are beautiful in the garden. 

 

Will Americans opt for the convenience of a .50 cent burrito at a fast food joint over the "economical" practice of growing their own vegetables?

There were no "Taco Bells" or "McDonald's" back in the day of the Victory Gardens, so if you wanted cheap food, you had to grow it!

 

Besides saving money, others will put in the effort to grow their own vegetables for a myriad of reasons in addition to  economics and environmental reasons.

These people enjoy healthful food and they love vegetables.

They LIKE to garden.

This is me.

 

And then there are people who pay others to create edible gardens and tend to them. (They pay me).

Not everyone can afford this service.

Do you think a White House garden will prompt a change in our society, or do we have to wait for the next generation of adults to see the influence at work? 

 

You tell me, I'm just asking from Los Angeles….

 

February 8, 2013 Update:
Not only has Michelle Obama participated in her White House Garden, she is now a  garden book author!

"American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America."

What do you think about that?

33 Comment

  1. With today’s spike in food prices, this idea merits serious consideration. Besides, there’s the labor of love factor, and the thrill of eating your “own” food.

  2. […] enjoying vegetable gardening more than ever now that I've got a plan for healthful eating! If I like a vegetable that is […]

  3. Hi Karen,
    Great to hear your story. Your raised beds give the garden some structure when the plants are not showing off. Good move. You can upload a photo of your garden if you like right here in the comment feature!
    shirley

  4. I took out my lawn over the course of about a year and a half. The long strip (about 5′ by 35′) between our house and our neighbors was planted with native California plants, and this year our neighbor interspersed some tomatoes. My front yard became a garden this past spring. With our cool summer it looks a little raggedy, so I am about to rip it out, put in raised beds and make it look prettier, with a short fence along the sidewalk. I cannot tell you how many positive comments I have recieved from people walking by. It is a huge hit! One of those comments was from a couple about 2 blocks away who have interspersed fruits and veg among their native plants. And as for water, yes, my garden does need water, but it’s a fraction of what it took to keep our grass green!

  5. I have actually only seen two house near my neighborhood that have edible front yards. One grows row after row of corn, and I always wonder what one family does with so much of it. The other family grows a variety of edibles. They both keep their gardens looking nice year round, I think it’s a great idea.

  6. Well, there’s a hot topic indeed! In my neighborhood, there aren’t that many front lawns, but noone grows vegetables either. I see a lot of juniper or other shrubs, or even trees. We also have drought tolerant perennials. Quite a few people are putting chairs and benches up, or play structures for the kids. We have 15% mandatory water rationing, so growing vegetables is a bit extravagant if you have to pay for your water.
    I think the White House should go organic and have a lawn that’s not maintained with fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides, And I like the vegetable patch they have, but they are not in a drought.

  7. very entertaining and informative. Love reading the replies. Tactfully done too–way to go gardeners.

  8. With the drought we’ve had in California, I really see a movement away from lawns. Sure, some people just can’t give them up, but especially younger people are interested in CHANGE. That said, vegetables need quite a bit of water as well. I see a lot of interest in drought tolerant and native plants. The going native garden tour (www.goingnativegardentour.org) has been tremendously popular in the last years, as has the east bay native garden tour.
    For myself, I’m really just as happy to see the native bees and birds enjoy my garden as I would be about foot-long zuccini.

  9. Well, I see Judy from the CS Monitor has posted on the WH lawn and garden subject. I’ll have to check out her feedback!
    Shirley

  10. […] are more skeptical. When Shirley Bovshow’s Eden Makers blog included this in a post about edible gardens versus front lawn, her readers’  comments ran the […]

  11. Welcome Greg!

    I appreciate your well thought out commentary and actually read it a few times. It covers a lot of important ground. I agree that certain movements take on a “groundswell” effect, removing lawns is one of them. This is why I posed the question.

    Are people really removing lawns from their front yards or are they just talking about it and asking others to do so because it sounds like a solution to our environmental challenges? Also, if they are removing them, is it to make a political statement or for practical reasons like they have limited space and would rather use the area for a garden because they like gardens?

    I believe that lawns have their place in the landscape. The White House is one of them, and I have an appreciation for one of the reasons you cited:

    “The greatest protests in American history have taken place on this lawn. From the Million Man March, Viet Nam War protests, rallies to support troops and veterans have all taken place on this lawn.”

    Public lawns, like the one in the WH serve a purpose as a verdant carpet for masses of people to enjoy as “festival seating.” This lawn is not just “sitting there,” it has a function!

    There is definitely a “place” for lawns in our society. From a practical stand point, I just don’t like the idea of any wasted space in the landscape. This is why I rip out lawns from my clients yards if they don’t use them or if they complain about excessive watering needs. I don’t believe lawns are evil, just not the best option sometimes.

    I also happen to love gardens and fortunately, my clients like the gardens I design, so they request them! In my drought prone area, gardens are a wonderful alternative for keeping the curb appeal factor year round with less water.

    I prefer if the White House adopted an edible garden, that it be sited where it is most useful, near the kitchen. Not on the lawn, just for the sake of removing the lawn. Even edible gardens have to be practical and functional.

    And yes, it would be awesome if they did create an edible garden because I believe gardening increases our enjoyment of life and appreciation for nature, which in turn, promotes an authentic concern for the environment. Better stewardship is the end result.

    I am not a political gardener, I believe in “eden-making” to enrich our lives, give us personal options in the kind of food we want to eat- (fresh food), and to draw us to the outdoors. If this translates to a yard with a lawn, so be it. A vegetable garden? Great!

    As a garden professional, I feel it is my job to inspire people to love the outdoors, to tend to their gardens responsibly and to teach them “best practices” so that we don’t cause harm to our land. I don’t ever want to have gardening legislated! It would quench my spirit as a gardener and as a free individual.

    That said, I appreciate the “fragmented industry” that we have- it is a sign of a free people expressing various opinions. I enjoy the dialogue and interplay, when the voices become silent and conforming- that is when I will start to worry!

    Please visit again Greg.

    Shirley

  12. Gardening Under Attack Online on “Garden” Blogs

    The internet has been a boon to gardeners seeking information. A simple click of the mouse brings up thousands of pages on any topic of gardening. Gardening professionals as well are clicking away to find information, treatments and cures for insects disease and even for finding new products to offer. The internet also offers a tool to find the best deals at competitors as well. But a look below the surface finds a growing grass root effort to change the way Americans garden.

    Blogs have grown very popular over the last five years. It only makes sense since the term blogging has gone from geek speak to main stream. Once the realm of late night political radicals, bloggers now cover every topic imaginable from politics to yes even petunias. A recent survey by a Washington newspaper showed there are now at least 800 blogs dedicated just to the subject of gardening.

    Within the gardening blogosphere one finds sub topics covering all the differing aspects of gardening. There are dozens of blogs on organic gardening, sustainable gardening, city gardening, gardening in the desert and herbs. The list goes on. Many of the blogs offer up little more than a gardener’s personal journal documenting that gardener’s trial and error with new varieties, weather and animal encroachments. These personal gardening journals are amongst the best reading garden blogs with comments from other gardeners encouraging each other to continue trying to grow that top sized tomatoes or prize pumpkins.

    One of the more popular garden blogs is one called Garden Rant. Garden Rant is unusual in the fact is written by four authors. Most blogs are the personal creations of one individual. Garden Rant is also unusual in that the four contributors are writers who write about gardening. They are avid gardens but they are writers first who started gardening as a hobby.

    Their manifesto statement is to amongst other things, to cause a horticultural revolution while uprooting the garden industry, love bug ridden overgrown gardens all while being suspicious of the horticultural industry. Upon reading this feisty manifesto and opening statements my curiosity was piqued and I was ready to defend my industry. It has been a lonely fight most of the way. These ladies wanted to start a “revolution.”
    So far I am about the only one regularly defending the garden business and “normal” gardeners from an onslaught of attacks on the way we garden and conduct business in the garden industry.

    One of the icons of the American Dream, a green lawn, has come under a barrage of attacks from Garden Rant and others in the blogosphere. Lawns to these bloggers are unnecessary, time consuming, polluting, over fertilized, water hogging, and out dated.
    The online groundswell against the American lawn has grown to the point of calling for the Great Lawn in Washington to be replaced with a vegetable garden!

    The Great Lawn in Washington is a symbol of American independence. This lawn has enabled the greatest of American rights, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. The greatest protests in American history have taken place on this lawn. From the Million Man March, Viet Nam War protests, rallies to support troops and veterans have all taken place on this lawn. A smaller version of the Great Lawn sits in front of millions of American homes. These great lawns in miniature are the work and pride of homeowners who embody the same over riding principle behind the Great Lawn in Washington, freedom and pride of accomplishment.

    Freedom of assembly is represented in home lawns by the gathering of families and friends for picnics on Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July. Accomplishment is represented by home lawns in pride of ownership. A well kept lawn shows pride of the homeowner not only in his home but the neighborhood in which he lives.

    Lawns are places where kids play, babies learn to crawl and great childhood memories made. Front lawns and back yard lawns are places for families to gather, play games or just look longingly into the sky. These time honored American traditions are hard to do from the middle of a vegetable garden!

    This not to say that the anti lawn crowd do not have some good points. Large lawns that are heavily fertilized can add to fertilizer run off and excess use of water in arid climates.
    Some neighborhoods do consider lawn mowers a noise pollution issue. In fact many homeowners associations place limits on when mowers can be run. And fertilizers do cost money and most are made from petro industry byproducts.

    However the trend in the size of American lawns is shrinking. Homeowners with large expanses of manicured green lawns are reducing the size the area under intense care.
    Time is an issue as well. Many do not want to spend the entire weekend mowing raking and fertilizing a big lawn.

    Americans still do love lawns just smaller ones. So why is there all this banter about getting rid of lawns? Some in the anti lawn movement want lawns outlawed altogether.
    It would be a strange scene indeed to see front lawns across the country replaced with vegetable and herb gardens. They would be nice to look at but still strange things to see next to the driveway.

    I think this anti lawn groundswell is a product of mob mentality. When someone in a controlled atmosphere, such as a blog, a political speech at a convention get the crowd excited they follow the leader and climb aboard the band wagon. When people of like minds gather on a regular basis with no opposition it is easy for the leader to get all on their side.

    If you love your lawn though, all is not lost. What has made the garden industry a unique business is that is an industry of small businesses. There are some giants in the industry but the traditional garden outlet is family run. The garden industry is still thankfully a wonderfully fragmented industry with thousands of small businesses. While there is a movement to rid the American front yard of its green lawn it is a small movement that may be limited by the very thing that makes gardening such a wonderful industry. It is a small industry dominated another icon of the American experience, small business.

  13. Well, well, well, it looks like we have some highly esteemed first timers to EdenMakers. Welcome to Ellen Zachos and Ellen Spector Platt! I enjoy reading your blog! Ellen Z, I see you take culinary gardening to “cuisine” level, no ordinary parsley for you? “Tiger’s eye sumac? Sounds yummy. You are exempt from lawn removal.

    Ellen S.P. you also get credit since you’ve got the edibles going on roof-side in New York. How fun. The view must be amazing from there. Your neighbors are lucky to have you. Come back and visit sometime.

    Shirley

    Anne,
    I’m waiting to hear what’s going on in England and the rest of Europe since you are so well tuned in. Thanks for dropping in.

    Shirley

    Anne,
    Do you think the OC is ready for edible front yard gardens? I’m not sure about the estates areas, we will see. I like the idea of your butterfly garden I hope you have time to sit out there and enjoy it. I’ll have to check out the article in the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for the tip.

    Every garden to me is a “sunshine garden” by the way!
    Shirley

    Hi Jim,
    I’d love to see the number of edible gardens in your Buffalo Garden Walk Tour this year. Keep me posted! I agree there is a lot of buzz about edible gardens, I just want to know how much it translates out in the real world. Your observations are appreciated. I love your blog! So much personality!
    Shirley

    Hi Miami Landscape Designer-
    Greetings from a Los Angeles Landscape Designer! Thanks for commenting. Yes, fruit trees are a wonderful way to incorporate edibles in the landscape. I think they should be used more in public spaces where people can get to them. A more detailed edible garden would be nice, but a lot more maintenance and higher cost.

    Shirley

    Hi Anna,
    I hear you about the drought. Same here in LA. It’s good to hear that people accept the fact that lawns can’t look 100% every day of the year. It goes with the territory.
    It’s great if those who have access to land and water want to grow organic veggies to sell to the community. Not everyone is in a position to take up the spade.

    Thanks for visiting.

    Shirley

  14. Great topic and post! I think it would be absolutely delightful if we had gardens instead of lawns. I’ve replaced our small front lawn with a butterfly garden and hope that my neighbors will follow suit.

    Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Journal on Friday the 16th had a front page article by Dominique Browning, former editor of House and Garden, in which she encourages the Obamas to use the White House gardens to demonstrate “green” trends…. she suggested that the name “Victory Garden” be replaced with “Sunshine Garden” to eliminate any wartime context… but her message was the same!

  15. Excellent question!

    I ll ask my readers and share

    Thx
    Anne

  16. No front lawn in my condo building in New York City, but last summer in the large rooftop garden I tend for my building, I had 3 varieties of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, small carrots, and 10 culinary herbs for anyone to ‘pinch-an-inch’. Of course all plants are in containers.

  17. Last summer I started re-planting my front garden with edible plants, but my definition of edible is a little different from most. I planted Tigers Eye Sumac, because I use the berries for jellies and beverages. I chose a small lilac because lilac flower wine is delicious and I planted a male and female spice bush (Lindera benzoin) because the dried berries are an unusual, savory/sweet spice. Not to mention serviceberry (fabulous fruit) and rose of Sharon (yes, the leaves are edible!).

  18. Hit return to early – sorry!

    There were many requests to create a vegetable garden list (including from the Guy in the Red Suspenders, Roger Swain, from the Victory Garden TV show). So maybe just these requests alone signifies a growing interest.

  19. I don’t see a trend toward more vegetable gardens. I have one, but I am familiar with the majority of the 300-some gardens on our garden tour (Garden Walk Buffalo) and I would say teh majority do not have vegetables or edibles in their gardens. I’ve been asked by some to list gardens that do have vegetables on our map, which I will do. There were mant requests to create th

  20. Shirley I agree with you that having an edible garden requires attention and it becomes an eyesore when left unattended. Still, as a landscape contractor a compromise can always be made. A fruit bearing tree is a lot easier to manage and they provide shade and are very pleasing to the eyes when it starts to bear fruits.

  21. I don’t know of a single house in our 19,000 people community that has a front garden. Well, I do know of one and it looks awful. He lets weeds take over.

    I’m the only one on my street that has any garden beds of size. I am sure the front or rear garden will not be popular here because of our recent drought. Lots of our nurseries went bankrupt and people have lost interest in gardening almost completely.

    We also have a few fees added to our water use that would make it too expensive. My water bill last summer just keeping my plants alive was over $200 month. Our summers seem to be too hot to consider a full front garden and the winters too cold to keep something green growing besides evergreens.

    I guess you could say that we all have a natural front yard here in NC. If it’s dry, we let the grass go brown. We enjoy it when it’s green. But most of us don’t do a thing to the yard but just let it do whatever it’s going to do. We’ve planted drought tolerant grass which doesn’t require nearly as much water as the old fescues.

    I’m not most people so I’ll probably eventually plant up a good deal of my yard over the next 30 years. The farmer’s market is getting more popular and I can see a rise in people who are farming. They can plant by a river and flood their fields and feed us all. I think that is the way to go. Some people just need to return to farming and sell to us that can’t.

    I don’t have an opinion about the White House having or not having a garden. With all the new president will be dealing with, it’s not likely he’ll take on a garden and extra staff to maintain it.

  22. Hi Frances,
    Of course, a strawberry pot counts! I agree that the chards and different colored lettuces are pretty and are a great substitute for annuals, since the function in the same way- at least lettuce gives you something to look at and eat.
    Shirley

    Hi Phillip,
    I was checking out the UK Amazon.com the other day for the heck of it and noticed that most of the top 100 gardening books are related to vegetable gardening, so I’m sure edible gardens will be increasing there soon. Small lots? Sounds familiar to the city lots in Los Angeles.
    Shirley

    Hey Billy,
    You make a good point when you assess the site as a professional. I always find that the vegetable garden needs to be near the kitchen for convenience. I’m sure the Obama’s will feel a lot more secure venturing out to tend the garden if it is not out in the open and exposed. I’m all for it if they really are going to be out there, otherwise, why pretend that this is a possibility for other families?

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for your comments. You have to at least try some container vegetables my friend. It’s a great intro into the wonderful world of eating your garden!
    Shirley

    Hi David,
    I’m in agreement with both you and Frances about the location of the garden- it should be in a place where the family can enjoy it privately and not subject to traffic, noise, etc. Thanks for dropping in.
    Shirley

    Welcome Jennifer,
    I like the idea about the solar-electric conversion for the WH! Now, that would be a giant statement! I also agree about emphasizing sustainable and native landscaping because it makes sense and should be encouraged by us pros whenever possible.
    I’d love to see an edible garden in every home, but I’m a realist and know that unless there is a commitment to take care of it, or money to hire someone to do it, it’s just going to rot and look unsightly.
    Shirley

  23. Replacing front lawns entirely with edible gardens is a FANTASTIC idea but maybe not so realistic for the whole country to adopt. As a landscape designer I know exactly how much time the average homeowner has to maintain even a low-maintenance garden and it’s not much. I think emphasizing sustainable, native and thoughtful landscaping is a lot more realistic. But I’m hoping the Obamas will plant a large, beautiful edible garden somewhere useful on the White House property and publicize the heck out of it.

    I also agree with Billy G: historical issues arise when it comes to the White House But as we are all so lucky to witness, history is being re-written today. No question that with Obama, the White House is becoming a “smarter” house (hopefully both inside and out!) How fabulous would it be if the new first family could convert the White House into solar-electric? That would certainly make a statement for sustainability!

  24. Despite sympathizing with the sentiment behind having an edible garden in the front yard (lawns are boring!), I must echo what Frances wrote: “I am not comfortable working in the front with cars etc. going by.” A garden — and for me, especially a vegetable garden — is a place for meditation, ideally.

  25. I like the idea of a White House veggie garden and I bet if any First Family took an active roll in it, it would be this one.

    I’ll confess…I’m not much of a veggie gardener, so I don’t see it happening in my front yard. Ornamentals?? I’m working on it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a front yard veggie garden around here. Nothing notable, anyway.

  26. I think the idea of a White House food project is a great idea, but I wouldn’t want to see it on the White House lawn. Speaking as a landscape architect, there are historic issues to be considered and just the sensibility and aesthetics of putting it there. Symbolism is great, but I think just as much positive PR would be gained by choosing the best practical, sustainable site, just as the average gardener should do when integrating food into a well rounded landscape design.

    Also, if the garden just became the responsibility of “staff” and had no direct connection to the family, it becomes an empty venture. Better to create a “science garden” the girls could learn from and use it as a way to publicize the natural world to children around the world.

    AND they can have red, voluptuous, drippy, sweet tomatoes and fresh basil growing somewhere near the kitchen.

    Yes, use it as a curriculum for the nation and the same way we have a Surgeon General on the staff, appoint a Gardener General to educate the nation.

  27. Still fairly rare over here in the UK – though mixing veg / herbs / plants in back gardens has taken off in more adventurous gardens. Lasagne gardening is getting some publicity. Most UK front gardens are very small and often concreted over in urban areas to accomodate the second car.

  28. Hi Shirley, there have been several articles about this topic, today in the NYT was a good one. We got rid of our front lawn when we began the renovation on the house we now live in, 2000. No lawn, but not edibles either. I am not comfortable working in the front with cars etc. going by. The back has a veggie bed and more edibles will be used as ornamentation this year too, like those red lettuces and bright colored chard. We did put strawberries in the strawberry jar in front, that counts too, right? A beautiful veggie patch on the white house property, complete with white picket fence and lots of structure and paths would be fabulous. I agree that the prettier the better to get more people on board.

    Frances

  29. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for your 2 cents

    I’m “all in” about the idea of a small, private edible garden for the first family. I’d even be more “into it” if I knew that the family actually participated in the tending of it- because they would be incredibly blessed by it and that would set an example for many- especially since they are so cool.

    Other than that, it is would just be like a shallow, “hollywood set.” a veneer that does not reflect reality because as I mentioned in the post, most people do not have time to tend to a garden, much less a garden that they will depend on to feed their families. So is the first family, really the best role model in this movement? Yes, if they do the gardening themselves.

    The reality is:
    Weeding, feeding, staking, pest control, mulching, watering…it all takes time and a commitment. I wish it were, but gardening is not for everyone. It would take DIRE circumstances to see the number of “Victory Gardeners” that we had in the past.

    On the other hand, you touched on “publicity being the key” and I agree 100%, but with a twist. I believe that the most effective promo for edible gardens is the neighbor next door who is seen enjoying the fruit of her labor, sharing her delicious crops with others who may be encouraged to do the same. This front yard garden can not look like crap either, because then the neighbors will start “hating on them” and that will be negative publicity.

    Can you imagine if whole communities started to convert their yards to edible gardens and everyone was having a good time, enjoying delicious food right outside their door and saving money on food? Now that would influence people, although it is a tad on the utopian side.

    Bottom line: The People should set an example first then reach out and ask others to do the same, including the First Family. I appreciate personal responsibility above all and influence emanates from authenticity.

    Shirley

  30. Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for chiming in from Canada! I agree that edible schoolyards are going to take off and I am volunteering time to take part in that. How is this movement doing in your part of the world?
    Shirley

    Hi Philip,
    I agree with you regarding incorporating edible gardens in housing developments (apartments, university dorms,etc). I think this is a practical and very smart idea that will benefit many people who can share the load of work so that it doesn’t become prohibitive along the lines of personal time. Shopping centers could be another venue.

    Do you think insurance risk is an issue to any of the above? What if someone becomes ill from the food? WIll there be lawsuits? If the WH adopts the plan and shares food with food pantries and someone gets sick from it, what will happen? Professional growers are certified and heavily insured for this. Should they just stick to feeding the WH staff?

  31. Nice post about a hot-hot issue! There are LOTS of ideas going around for a White House kitchen garden, and most envision a small, family-sized garden that would encourage other families to do the same. The more manageable, the better, and the prettier, the better. Whether any lawn would be removed or not? Probably not that the public would notice. Philip is right; I think it will be close by, off the kitchen, very private. Publicity is the key to have everyone see the example that one very prominent family can set for us all.
    Replacing front lawns? Very few people will do that but I’m thinking more incrementally. Maybe people will add some raised beds, and switch to organic lawn care for crissakes.

  32. Hi Shirley!
    I looked at the White House grounds online recently, and the first ladys garden by the west wing could incorporate edible plants. This would be on the same side of the house as the kitchen(s). I do not think they need to replace the lawns, just add a patch. Maybe a little greenhouse at the WH?
    🙂
    I like the garden you showed here for CA with the grape arbor and rosemary,strawberries, lemon trees. Alternatives to lawn certainly make sense in the West.
    I think the real change needs to happen in housing developments and shopping centers.
    I love and completely support edible schoolyards. you made a lovely school garden. So many schools look so sad. Learning about growing things is so important for children.
    Best regards,
    Philip

  33. A lot of my gardening friends have started to include “salad gardens” among their flowers and they’re beautiful, as well as tasty. 🙂 With the popularity of projects like The Edible Schoolyard growing by leaps and bounds, it’s not hard to imagine edible gardens popping up everywhere. On the front lawn of the White House? Maybe, but not likely?

Your Commment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin