ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness»
  • Personal Development

Why We Should All Have Edible Front Yards

Updated on June 12, 2014

I Hate Mowing Lawns

There, the truth is out.

I have been mowing lawns since my dad gave me that disgusting chore over fifty years ago, and nothing has changed in that time.

I hate mowing lawns.

I have owned twelve homes over the years, and I’ve had lawns an acre in size and a postage stamp in size, and one thing has remained constant with each home….

I hate mowing lawns.

It’s interesting that I should have such a dislike for mowing. Lawns are, after all, pretty to look at, and there is a certain amount of luxury when I lay down on a newly-cut lawn….but…..I never saw much sense in them. I mean, what good are they? When I weigh the cost of maintaining a lawn against the joy of looking at one, I simply don’t get it. Why did I spend so much money over the years for something I could not eat or sell?

Well the break from lawns finally arrived, for me, when I decided upon a frugal lifestyle. Once I committed to living a life of “needs” rather than “wants,” it was fairly easy to say goodbye to the foolish notion of maintaining a lawn.

Allow me, then, to present my arguments against lawns and, by extension, for edible front yards. Some of you will find it interesting. Some may even come over to the dark side and join forces with me. Some, I’m sure, will not be sold at all because you love your lawns, and that is all well and good. I’m not selling anything. Rather, I’m just presenting my case and hoping others will follow along.

No mowing here
No mowing here | Source
No mowing here, either
No mowing here, either | Source

Some Facts and Figures

The largest irrigation crop in the United States is….drum roll, please….turf grass. There are 32 million acres of turf grass (lawn) in the U.S., enough to cover the entire state of Kentucky.

Approximately $1,200 is spent per household per year on lawns.

In any given year, between 50% and 70% of the United States residential water is used for watering lawns. That equates to about 10,000 gallons of water per summer for every 1,000 square foot lawn.

Are you amazed yet?

Over 78 million households in the United States use garden pesticides.

Over $700 million is spent each year on pesticides for lawns.

67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides are spread on lawns in the United States each year.

Are you disgusted yet?

Each year over 58 million gallons of gasoline are used mowing lawns.

One lawn mower creates as much pollution in an hour as a car driven for twenty miles.

Are you mad yet?

Out of the thirty most commonly used lawn pesticides, sixteen are toxic for birds, twenty-four are toxic for fish, and eleven are deadly to bees.

Each year over seven million birds die because of exposure to lawn pesticides.

And if the birds, animals, fish and water supply are negatively affected by lawn pesticides, how about we humans? Do you think we might be negatively affected as well?

To put it simply, we are polluting the environment, and depleting natural resources, so that we can gaze upon a great lawn and dazzle our neighbors.

Garlic, anyone?
Garlic, anyone? | Source

So What Can We Do?

The answer to that question is a simple one: get rid of your lawns and plant edible foods.

Oh, I can hear the screaming from here. “I LOVE HAVING A BEAUTIFUL LAWN!” Yes indeed, there are millions of Americans who find great enjoyment in having a well-maintained lawn, and on a certain level I understand. There are also millions of Americans who live in housing developments where a beautiful lawn is required. For the life of me, I do not understand living anywhere where there are such requirements, but I know it is so. All I can do is shake my head, because when the common welfare is cast aside by the need to keep property values high, there is something very wrong with that justification.

So I’m not selling anything in this article. I will never convince a certain percentage of homeowners, so if you are one of them, then stop reading right now.

If, however, you are concerned about the environment, and you give a damn about the waste of natural resources, then read on.

Dinner right outside the front door
Dinner right outside the front door | Source

The Benefits of an Edible Front Yard

There are many, but let me just highlight a few for this article:

  • Cut food costs….in case you haven’t noticed, the price of food is rising, and you can bet the bank that it will continue to rise. With stagnated wages the norm rather than the exception, finding a way to cut food costs is just smart economics for the average homeowner. A 1,000 square foot vegetable garden will feed a family of four for one year. Imagine the savings!
  • Eat healthier foods….again, in case you haven’t noticed, foods produced by the major farming corporations are unsafe. Food additives and preservatives are slowly killing us. By producing your own food, you are in control of what you eat and how safe that food is. If you are hoping that one day Monsanto will develop a conscience, may God help you.
  • Save natural resources….refer to the earlier section about water waste and pesticides in the ground and water supply….and don’t forget to read the section about gasoline use.
  • A sense of community…..imagine a neighborhood where everyone grows their own produce, and neighbors share, not only food, but ideas, with each other. A bond would be formed, a bond that would only strengthen in time, as neighbors watch out for each other, and the common good is an overriding philosophy that they all live by.
  • A change in the way we view life…..the old ways are not working. Unless you are a member of the top one percent, you must realize by now that this is true. What worked for our grandparents and even our parents is no longer valid. The economy demands that we find new ways of living. We need to come closer together rather than become more isolated. We need to see a seismic shift in the way we view society, or we will all suffer the consequences.

Fresh strawberries ten feet from the television
Fresh strawberries ten feet from the television | Source

Is This Even Possible?

Well of course it is. This author lives in a city that embraces this new way of thinking. Front yard edible gardens are not only allowed in Olympia, Washington, but they are encouraged. During our one-hour walk this past Saturday, my wife and I counted twelve front yard edible gardens, and more are being planted each month.

Portland, Oregon, a city I lived in for two years, also embraces this lifestyle change.

Seattle, Washington, is currently planting the nation’s first urban edible forest.

Change is happening and I find it so very exhilarating.

Can you see yourself doing this?

See results

So Now It’s Your Turn

You begin by tearing up all the sod in your front yard. Yes, it is hard work, but the rewards you will receive will make each shovel-full a little bit lighter.

Now plan your garden. You can either use a series of raised beds with paths in-between, or just plant directly into the ground. Check your area for which crops grow best in your climate. Prepare the soil with natural fertilizers. Start making your own compost.

Share your vision with neighbors. Start communicating with each other. Tell them about the benefits of an edible front yard, and heck, even share some of the bounty with them.

Then take your lawnmower and put it in the back of your pickup truck. Drive it to the city dump and leave it there.

You no longer need it!

Rejoice!

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you David and yes, there are always drawbacks. Actually we are planting ours so the neighbors can share in them, but I would definitely be annoyed if I planted them for our use and others took them. Thanks...and good luck with that lawn. :)

    • David Ventura profile image

      David Ventura 2 years ago

      Great Hub and great ideas here. However there are some drawbacks.

      For years I had an orange, a lemon and a pomegranate tree in my front yard. One thing that really hate was that everyone passing by called to ask for some fruits, free of course. Most of them took offense when I say no. The logic was something like: why not? if it is not cost you anything to give me some.

      Last year the last tree died and now I am mowing my lawn. And I hate it too. It is a waste of time and effort with very little to show for it.

      Next fall I am going to plant three or four almond trees. They are not common here, so with luck nobody is going to call asking for them. well, except my friends and family, you can't win 'em all! lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you RaintreeAnnie. A garden or a lawn? No contest as far as I'm concerned. :)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 3 years ago from UK

      This is a wonderful idea and we are gradually growing more food in our garden. I do not see an issue with growing herbs, veg or fruit in a front garden. It can still look great especially if you mix it up with flowers as well which if organic/cottage garden like- is a nice way to do it anyway. I do think its very sad when I see front gardens in particular paved over for use as car parking rather than any plants at all. I would love to see people growing food , or any plants really in their front gardens more. I enjoyed reading this thank you :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I'm encouraged that you are seeing more of them. Here is it quite normal, but I understand we are a bit abnormal here in Olympia. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I see more and more front lawns turning into gardens around here. I'm not sure if I would have the guts to do it, but it really is a noble and worthy thing to do. It would save me a lot of money on food and gas too. I just have to convince myself and my husband that we could do it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lupita...I was hoping for a laugh in that instance. :)

    • LupitaRonquillo profile image

      LupitaRonquillo 3 years ago

      You covered it Billy, great hub! and I just laughed when you stated "If you are hoping that one day Monsanto will develop a conscience, may God help you."

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks and ditto it's 1:47 am. 7/1/2014 lol going to bed now

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that too, lyns. Have a peaceful, easy evening.

      bill

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you I'm glad we connected to stay positive :} Positive Minds meet Positive People. Have a good one. lyns 6/30/2014

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You too, lyns....I'm glad we connected. I like people who leave meaningful comments.

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      Oh no not the HEAT, lol :) Billy, it's getting time for a tall glass of coconut water and ice, Iced Coconut water does the body good and keep it cool, try to stay out of the heat as much as possible. Air out those walls at night does wonders in the day time before the heat comes in. Have a great one lyns 6/30/2014

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks lyns...one thing we rarely worry about here in Olympia is sooooo hot. :)

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      You are welcome, I hope you are have a great one, I sure am even though it is soooooooo hot here in Cali....lyns

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      thanks for the laugh, lyns

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No problem, lyns...good to see you here anyway

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you lyns...I appreciate you stopping by.

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      Oops Billy this wasn't for your article I meant to attached to Lisa, my apology. lol

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      Okay I just linked our articles together, hopefully we are helping someone I really enjoyed reading your article.

      lyns

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      This is a very interesting article learned a great deal more than what I thought about the environment and lawns, well put together hub, thanks for sharing. lyns 6/30/2014

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I hope one day you get your wish. Thanks my friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I would love to have a front yard filled with tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. I'm all for this idea!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you tebo! It makes perfect sense to me. Instead of cutting grass you are growing dinner.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I love the idea of a front yard garden of vegetables and fruit. I walk past a house often where the front yard is planted with shrubs etc and no lawn whatsoever and the lady of the house tells me the back yard is the same - don't know whether it has vegetables or not. Has to be a good idea to put your land into edible vegetation. Great and inspiring hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Au fait, you always have wonderful comments.

      I happen to love dandelions....who says they are a weed? I think they are beautiful little flowers that add color to an area. I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. :)

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. They are appreciated.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I started cutting grass when I was just 7, and living in the country on a farm, we had a big lawn. There's always plenty of work to do on a farm even without cutting the grass.

      Anyway, I think lawns are silly. Actually worse than that because they pollute the water and soil, kill necessary bees, kill birds and likely other small animals. Take up all that time and money to make what is basically an artificial environment.

      Nowhere in God's creations will you find a lawn per se. Grass mixed in with other plants mostly intended to feed livestock and other creatures, but no golf courses or football fields naturally grow up anywhere, especially in front of somebody's house.

      Yes, I did lawn and landscaping work for a while before my daughter was born, and yes, some people really do have lawns the size of football fields. Huge plots of poison from all the herbicides and insecticides and so forth. Humans do so many things that pollute the environment purely for vanity and we're killing ourselves and everyone around us in the bargain.

      I think you have a great idea here. I live in an apartment so I can't do it, but ideally I would live in the country and no poisons would be used on my yard. I like dandelions in the spring. They're pretty. Turning it into a useful garden would be a great idea, but regardless, no effort to make it a perfect carpet of grass would be made.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lurana. I think of cities like Detroit that are getting bulldozed down, and I think of the perfect solution...community gardens all over the city.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I completely agree that lawns are a cultural vanity, to the detriment of the environment. These spaces are so much more valuable as sources of food! Edible gardens can definitely be gorgeous spaces too, not just utilitarian. My dad hated mowing lawns too and my parents built mulch pathways and small flowerbed sections in addition to the vegetable & herb gardens. Yardwork is still hard work, but if you choose a sustainable plan that you find beautiful, it is worth the effort!

      :-) Lurana

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, Shyron, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't have conflicting thoughts. LOL

      This isn't easy. We all know it is the right thing to do...but....we have worked hard for conveniences and a lovely lawn....so the battle continues, and we try to do our little bit to make it all better for everyone.

      Have a great week of writing my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Bill, wonderful hub, you brought back a lot of memories of my grandma's home. On one side of the house was a hugh garden, which my she tended with the help of grandkids. The garden had everything you could imagine and included an orchard and strawberry patch.

      The front yard was mostly sand and all around the yard were flowers of every kind. On the other side and in back the cotton fields came almost to the house.

      I don't mind mowing, sometimes. Mostly if I am troubled about something, I find comfort. But then sometimes I hate mowing.

      This week the mower was in the shop for repair, which was soothing.

      Conflicting thoughts are going round in my head.

      Thumbs up ++++ and shared

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it seems to simple to me. I can't understand why more people don't see the wisdom in this. Oh well, one step at a time, right? Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Vicki! Hopefully this is the wave of the future, and one day we will see more people growing their own food.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cecile, thank you for taking the time to read this, even though you can't do it. I appreciate it.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The waves of the future is the beauty of plants. Plants help to create oxygen and we live better with that. With plants, come birds to help pollinate. Feed a few birds while you're at it, and you will benefit more, especially with a water feature. Let's bring back a beautiful earth again.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Well, I can't totally cover my front yard, since I live in town on a busy street, but I love the idea. I probably could plant more bushes and trees in the front to suck up the grass, as lawns are definitely overrated, I agree. I'd like to do more in the back, too, which I could, to take up the grass. I've done some. Great hub, Bill. I love your ideas here.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      I really appreciate your perspectives Billybuc. I think my neighbors would be very upset if I tried to create an edible front lawn. I am happy that others are considering your great suggestions.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you whonu, and I love to hear that others are doing this. Maybe we really can make a difference.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I think we can assume that I do not like mowing. LOL As for grasshoppers, we don't have them, or if we do, they are in limited numbers. This really is an oasis for home growers regarding bugs and pests.

      Blessings to you my friend, and a hug along the way.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ron, I love the example you have set with that fruit tree, and how people have stopped by...and now a community garden! This is great news and fills me with hope...maybe we can make a change. Thank you for sharing your story....a very important example of how this can work.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Jo. Music to my ears. Now if we can only convince a couple more million people, we might make an impact. :)

      Happy Sunday to you, Jo.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, my best friend in school had a guard goose, and that bird was nasty. :) Have a wonderful Sunday my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Vellur, and obviously I agree.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Bill, I'm an old country boy, and my wife and I always grow a few edibles in the front yard. A very informative and interesting hub my friend. Thanks for sharing. whonu

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      this is a clever way to get out of mowing...

      Would I be correct in assuming that mowing is not high on your list of favorite things to do??? I don't know where I got such a silly idea:D

      But truly, planting edible yards is a great idea. The grasshoppers think that I have planted a buffet when I plant veggies which are in my front yard and back yard this year...so I am ever vigilant using my eco friendly insect cure.

      have a lovely Father's DAy Bill...hugs and Angels are on the way to you ps

    • RonHawk profile image

      Ron Hawkins 3 years ago from California, United States

      Bill, one of your best hubs yet because it so applies to so many of us. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. When, how and why did something as wasteful, as demanding, as unnecessary as lawns became a standard landscaping feature of the American home? It's all that you said. I'm amazed how not only there is so much of it in a place where it doesn't belong, the state of California which like so many other states just does not have the weather or the water to support this wasteful feature, but how hard it is to change minds and attitudes. I do hope this dreadful drought that California is experiencing will end up dislodging this mindset. One of the features of edible front-yards is that it helps foster better neighborly relations. I don't consider my front yard an edible one but a few years ago I planted a couple of fruit trees. By now most in the neighborhood know that the fruits of these trees belong to the whole neighborhood. Over the years people I don't know have stopped by and asked questions about the fruits. When they realize why they are there, well, you just made new friends. A few of them have done the same thing. Recently we just got the association to agree to letting us start up a community garden in one of the green areas that was predominantly lawn. I love seeing your hub and how everyone responding to it positively. I think this is all indicative of the onset a lawnadigm shift.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Believe it or not, I've cut back on the flowers to grow more herbs and vegs. There's nothing like eating your own home grown food. Excellent hub, loved the photos. My best to you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Ok bill, I won't mention it to Bev but geese are great creatures, just don't turn your back on them or they nip your heels!! Ann

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      It is a great idea to have an edible front yard, it definitely helps to save money when we have an edible front yard and it is environment friendly as you have stated. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, it may well be old-styled, but it works, and it is needed, so keep up the good work...and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, believe me, I understand about the chickens. We won't be killing ours either. No way. We are going to raise quail, thought, and eat those. No plucking...just pull the skin off with the feathers attached....pretty easy process as long as we don't name them. LOL Naming them makes them pets, and I know you understand that.

      Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia and I agree, those are scary statistics. I just hope a few more people see the wisdom in growing their own food.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      We plant our own vegetables and have a fair amount of different sort. Most people still find that old styled but I don't see it that way. Great tips from you and very encouraging to all readers.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, this article excites me. I love the progress you are making in your frugal and self-sufficient lifestyle. Well done. We had our main vegetable garden in the back yard but it wasn't getting enough hours of sun, so transferred it to the front and right outside our window, now everything is thriving. We have rainbow chard and silverbeet, tomatoes, parsley, sage, oregano, chives and garlic chives, pepino etc...all going great amongst the flowering plants like roses, hibiscus, frangipani and day-lillies. Because our house yard is one and a half acres I still need to use a ride-on mower unfortunately, but the garden is gradually expanding. We are providing most of our own vegetables now, but can't bring ourselves to eat the chickens. The work involved in killing, plucking and cleaning doesn't seem worth the trouble when chicken is reasonably cheap in the supermarket...besides they are pets and provide eggs most of the year. Voted up, keep up the good work.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The statistics that you share are frightening, Bill. Creating an edible garden instead of a lawn is a great idea. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Audrey, and thank you. Living in the hills makes it tough and cost-prohibitive. The cost of fencing and protecting the veggies would just be too much I'm afraid. It would be cheaper to build a greenhouse. :)

      Have a great weekend my friend.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ginger, you are very welcome, and I'm sorry about those pesky rabbits. As for your husband, there will always be the naysayers. Our job is to convince them or wear them down. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Bill. Music to my ears. Keep plugging away at it my friend. Those raised beds will whittle that lawn down to next to nothing. :) Thanks, buddy, and enjoy your weekend.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm thinking of making flyers from your hub and posting them on every lawn :) Just think - if everyone would plant food in place of lawns we could not only feed ourselves, but others as well.

      Here in the mountains, we have no lawns. We do have coyotes, rabbits, gophers and loads of other critters and they all run wild. This makes planting veggies tough. But we grow plenty of tomatoes in pots with wire protection, along with a few other potted veggies.

      To me, there is nothing more beautiful than watching the growth of vegetables!

      Love,

      Audrey

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      I love, love, love your yard! Every year my husband loses a little more of his yard for my vegetable garden. It is just unbelievably satisfying to see little green stuff popping up. -and quite devastating when the bunnies ate my beans. Anyway, thanks for being on the frontline for this. I hope it catches on! And I'm sending a link to my husband, although I'm sure he'll be in the camp of not-convinced, sadly. Blessings! - Ginger

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mona, I love it. What wonderful news. You have given me a huge smile today and I thank you for it. Well done my friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      I have to agree with you Bill, I have grown to hate mowing the lawn. I'm not exactly sure when this happened but I no longer look forward to this mundane task. So, we did plant a raised garden this year, thanks to you, and although it has helped to reduce the amount of mowing I have a ways to go. Next year we plan on expanding the garden so we are moving in the right direction. I don't think we'll ever get to the point where we have no lawn to mow but we'll also most likely downsize as we get closer to retiring from our day jobs.

      Another winner Bill. Have a great weekend.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Billybuc, I am happy to inform you that my cucumbers are growing and the maid is planning to take it out and put it in the garden now. I told her that she can use my extra compost as there's still lots of it. My onions are getting little sprigs and my two pots of monggo are growing, too. Every morning my dog Mocha Barney checks on the plants, and she tends to eat the buds of my cucumbers. I am so delighted at the idea of an edible garden. This would never have been done if not for you:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, thanks for sharing it with your friend. Maybe he can find some satisfaction from it. There are parts of this country where this idea simply will not work, and I understand that...but my goodness, those who live in our neck of the woods do not have that excuse. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I always smile or laugh at your comments. I think you almost sold me on the little patch of green. Seriously, I understand why people like lawns. Some of my favorite childhood memories were spent on the lawn in front of our house....it seems, though, that the older I get, the more concerned I am with the environment and the waste of it all...so consider this an old man ruminating about things he once thought were terribly silly. :)

      Have fun at the park, and don't tell Bev about the geese idea, or we'll be buying some this weekend. :)

      bill

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Perhaps you might hum a different tune in my area, but you’d probably face it anyway, Bill, because you believe in it. But, then again, circumstances differ in other ways than location. You’re not really old (by my standards). So it IS a hypothetical situation. haha.

      I’ve sent a neighbor/friend a link to this page, in any case. He does live in northeast Dallas, is only in his early 60s and has need of an alternative to grass, which he’s been struggling with, anyway. Might as well put the effort into health, about which he’s keen. His neighbor has a successful garden so perhaps his exact location isn't atop white rock and has better growing conditions,

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I don't have a lawn; we have slabs and a couple of borders. In France, we had a small piece of grass (nothing so grand as a lawn) round a tree and we had a field. It was my job to mow it all and I found it therapeutic; I could dream and think of writing themes and stories. The neighbour's peacocks and goats, the local birdlife and therefore the local cats, enjoyed using it. I enjoyed the view and it supported several fruit trees. My favourite colour is green.

      Having said all that I understand your reasons for getting rid of an area of grass.

      You could keep geese on it and thereby get rid of your lawn-mower though. The children like playing on it. It's a safe area for everyone to gather, play, have bbqs, play ball games.

      I do understand your reasons and it's essential to balance both sides of the argument. Your argument makes more sense but my argument looks prettier - or does it? When you think about the flowers, fruit, veg, chickens etc that you can replace it with, then they look pretty good to!

      I applaud you, bill. Actually, yes, I agree with you too!

      We can always go to the park! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy and to tell you the truth, those statistics blew me away too, and I was already on board with the idea. :) Hopefully, as you say, we will see more of this in a country that desperately needs a change.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      That statistic about lawn mower pollution blew me away! I had no idea that it polluted the environment that much! Unfortunately we have so many large oak trees and very little sunlight to grow things other than typical landscaping. Where we have a bit of sun, I have herbs and veggies planted along with a fig tree and 2 fruit trees. I hope more of the country adopts the idea of letting people grow veggies in the front yard as well as back yard. Your reasons are all good ones! Sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, you are a goddess to me! You go, girl! Rip away.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marvin, I believe you are correct. I do not see the economy making a miraculous recovery. We need more of this type of action and we need it soon. Thanks for sharing about Jamaica.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I love the square foot gardening concept....so simple...so productive...thanks for mentioning that, and hugs back atcha from Olympia

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Jamie. I'll put out a chair for you. When do you think you'll be stopping by? :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I can hardly wait, Lea...I love Woodley...such an original human being for someone so young.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debra, great idea, one I had forgotten about. Such a simple solution and I do know that they work. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will check it out, Heidi....and I definitely agree with you about those dogs. You would be giving baths daily without that lawn. :) Thanks, Heidi, and have a great weekend.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 3 years ago from Canada

      Loved this! In the process of ripping apart my front lawn as I type this. Can't wait to give the lawn mower the old heave ho!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      In Jamaica it is customary to have a to have a fruit tree in the front yard and have the vegetables growing in the backyard. Lawns are just a luxury. As time progresses vegetables will gain popularity as resources become scarce and more people wise up.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy.... I have seen this in action in a few towns where I have lived. I adapted to the Square Foot Gardening concept last year and it worked great. 4X4 box 10 inches deep planted at different times and rotated has provided fresh veggies all summer and into late fall. The concept is simple 1 seed one plant.

      I was amazed at the staggering numbers you have listed for water and fuel consumption....

      Hugs from Canada

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Pull up a chair and we can share some Greens and Iced Tea! Great hub! Jamie

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      billybuc: Regarding The Fault In Our Stars: The theatre was packed and I could hear SOBBING throughout...Since we both read the book, I am certain we both know what scene is going to hit you the hardest, which I will not write - I don't want to spoil it...The acting is phenomenal and you will love Gus. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Sparlea and others here...I have found a very cheap way of keeping deer from bothering your gardens. Just buy those sinwheels that are in the kids section of wallmart. Put them in or around your gardens and the deer do not bother your gardens. I have had the spinwheels in my gardens for about 6 weeks now and not a thing has been eaten by the deer. I live in a forest where deer is all over the place here. So I KNOW that it works! Try it and the spinwheels have to be the metallic looking kind. Birds do not like them either! They are only about a dollar.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      I detest mowing lawns and finally turned that duty over to someone else. I definitely want to get rid of my lawn... but the dogs, well, they like playing in it and I don't need them running around in mud or gardens.

      Agree that it is one of the most unfriendly to the earth ways to cover ground (which is why I also detest it).

      I have an amazing author friend who does vegetable garden in her front yard. Check this: http://bit.ly/1hQryE7 I'm green (pun intended) with envy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I remember seeing my grandmother sweep the dirt out front of her farmhouse. I had forgotten about that until you mentioned it. Thank you for that memory.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, good morning, and with that much wildlife, it probably is a waste of time trying to grow veggies. It would take a very expensive fence system to keep them all out and then, really, is it worth it? I would probably say no, even for me, and I'm a bit of a fanatic.

      Thank you as always for sharing so gladly and being so supportive. I want you to have a marvelous weekend my friend. We are going to go see "The Fault of our Stars" this weekend. I will take tissue. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are in a very mild climate, valley, good soil, moderate rain....really an excellent place to grow crops.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      When I grew up in the country no one had lawns! We had dirt yards which we swept each day with a brush broom!!

      Lawns are such a big waste of manpower and our natural resources!

      Great Hub! Voted UP, etc.etc.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billy Buc, I love this hub, and your ideas are terrific.

      You confess you hate mowing lawns.

      Here is my confession: I LOATHE, LOATHE, LOATHE the SOUND of lawn mowers. They get on my nerves so much that my husband warns me a day ahead, 'Sweetie, just so you know, I'm mowing the lawn tomorrow, so plan to go to a movie!' The minute one starts up every hair on my head bristles. The sound is so annoying that I sometimes put in ear plugs if I can't leave the house!

      I'm in your corner 100 percent to take the lawnmower to the dump and leave it there. Some of our neighbors hire people with those noisy riding lawnmowers and I swear they mow lawns every other day!

      An edible garden is a terrific idea. There is a problem in our neighborhood, though: I opened the garage door one day to have a deer about 3 feet away standing in our yard...I have seen a group of deer walking up and down the street. We also have woodchucks and cute rabbits and squirrels all over the place. When there is a garden, they think, "lunch." they love to pull out carrots and get into tomato plants. You know how I feel about animals. I can't harm them under any circumstances...also we have raccoons. So cute.

      All this being said, New York State is LOADED with produce markets, especially in our area...close to our home...we live near the finger lakes where cherry picking is very popular...so we are able to buy fresh produce quite often, not to mention the finger lakes being grape territory. My daughter goes on wine tours all the time and does the wine tasting thing. I think I drank wine once, not sure :)

      LOVE the pictures of the edible gardens, and I think your idea is terrific.

      Congratulations on another wonderful hub with great information and suggestions. You continue to inspire, always. Blessings Sparklea :)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      On the other side and above me in the USA! So is it going to be mountainous, valleyish, wooded, forested, dry or fertile?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Debra...I live in Olympia, Washington.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, thanks for stopping by. It really is amazing how much money is wasted in the States just to have green grass. It really bothers me that there is so much waste here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan, and everything you said is true.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, that is interesting. I'm not sure it surprises me, as America is always a bit slow discovering good ideas. Thank you for sharing and I agree, fresh vegetables are superb.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I would love to live in the country. There is no telling how big my garden would be if I had no land restrictions. :) As for protecting the goodies, there are a couple things you could do, although rabbits are tough to keep out. I'll have to do some research on those little critters and let you know.

      blessings of course, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Good for you Bill!! Whereabouts if I may ask?

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 3 years ago from UK

      This sounds like a great idea. Your statistics about lawns are illuminating! We don't have a front lawn, just a small patch of flower beds, but we have a wilderness of a back garden (yard) where I do try to grow a few plants, but could definitely be doing more.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Lot of great ideas in this hub, that is good for the environment as well as we get to eat our own grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

      Very well said!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, would you be surprised if I say Indian villages follow what you say. When we were young we always ate the freshly picked vegetables from my grandmother's kitchen garden. The taste of those vegetables is never to be had in this concrete jungle we see today. Nostalgic memories!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Love this, Bill! Since moving to the country, it seems they let everybody do their thing, unless it is harming someone else. We found out that our new puppy chocolate lab loves to eat my flowers and such in the backyard, so I had to move all my gardening on the back deck, but we did fence in the backyard, so we do have good sized side yards and front yard. Since we are in the country/small town, I am wondering how to keep the critters, rabbits and deer from eating what is grown? If you know, that would be a great topic for another hub. It must be done to where the critters do not eat it all up, as just up the road a bit, someone has a nice sized garden just out in the open. Guess, I should take a walk down the road and inquire : )

      Blessings over your edible gardens and you and your family for continued good healthy eating and lives!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debra, I will never understand anyone settling for the rules of an HOA, but there are a lot of people who love them, so what do I really know? :) I just know rules like that are not for me. In two years we are moving out to the country and then we won't be dealing with any restrictions on animals and I'll be in homeowners heaven.

      Thank you for yet another visit.