What if we grew food instead of grass? Every community is a local food economy waiting to come to life.
Gina, of P.E.A.C.E.
It’s a question I first considered after reading it on this website created by Gina, of PEACE (People Excited About Co-Existence).
What if we converted our lawns to gardens and grew food instead of grass? What if? When I think about this, I imagine ordinary people- who may otherwise be unable to contribute money- launching an entirely different kind of philanthropy; a different shade of green. Entire neighborhoods could band together and grow food for the less fortunate.
Birth of the “Yarden”
Not to sound cliche but, by posing the question, “What if?” Gina planted a seed that -at least for me- has been growing inside. Since reading this in 2012, I’ve been noodling on how to advance this in my own neighborhood. Just as I can imagine all the good that would come from planting a yarden (remember, you heard it here first), I can also imagine the conversations with my neighbors. I mean, I want to be a good neighbor, right? What would they think of the idea? Would anyone join me? Like so many other neighborhoods coast-to-coast, the idea of ripping out a lush lawn and replacing it with something (anything) different, is enough for people to see red, instead of the green I would hope for.
So, I started small; hey, at least I started. I grow it and give it away. For the second time in as many years, I have a goal to give away 100 lbs. of whatever I grow in the backyard. My yard is small, indeed. Long and narrow, I have room for about five, 4×8 spaces. My strategy is simple; when I give any vegetables away (and that includes to the neighbors), I have a conversation about starting a yarden. Truth be told, so far it hasn’t gone well. They’re skeptical that it would be an eyesore, or not welcome by the city. So, I have some homework to do, and admittedly I have to work on my elevator pitch a bit more.
And sometimes, it just takes one person to go for it. I think that will be me. By this time next year, I am planning to convert a small section of my front yard to at least one, 4×8 space. It may not sound like much, but it will stand out in our little cul de sac. I think, once the neighbors see the kids coming over to plant flowers or vegetables, they’ll warm up to the idea. Wish me luck. 🙂
What do you think of this idea? Would it work in your neck of the woods?
Editor’s note- photo by: Gina, P.E.A.C.E.
This article is the sixteenth in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “Q”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.