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How to Lose Your Lawn and Grow your Lunch

Updated on May 10, 2011


Lawns, they are everywhere. I go for a walk and block after block there are lawns; churches, schools, private homes, businesses all have space that could be growing food either communally or individually but are not.

Some are well kept and look pretty but how many resources are used to keep them looking that way? Why, is this happening when you can grow food and have an attractive site at the same time?

Apple trees look great on a front lawn add some chives growing under them and not only doe sit look good but you can harvest and eat them apples and chives.

If you do not want to eat them yourself or do the work, engage someone to do it for you. It should not be hard to find an individual or a food bank who might be willing to pick apples for free and save you the labour while doing something good for others.

Backyards can be converted from empty spaces that suck up water to food forests. The backyard food forest meets not only you and your family’s needs but provides food and shelter for butterflies and songbirds.

The first step is to determine what purpose your yards serve. The front yard is typically the show piece, where curb appeal may be the main goal. Also, and this you will want to check before starting any renovations, municipal bylaws often control what you can grow, so find out before digging.

However, an herb garden can be a thing of considerable beauty especially if it is mixed with edible flowers. Tomatoes and basil may be an unusual combo for the front yard but grow them in attractive containers and enjoy both the visual and nutritional benefits this arrangement can provide.

A small orchard composed of dwarf fruit trees, can be a strong design statement for the front yard as well as giving you fruit you can readily pick.

Moving around back, what purpose does this space serve? The backyard is where family and friend gather, children play and pets roam. You may want to keep some of it for that purpose, but the rest can be converted into an organic vegetable garden.

If you are starting your first garden or if you are simply adding another bed to an existing garden, there are a few things that you can do that will not only reduce the work that you do but will help create the conditions that will enable the plants you select to flourish.

So go outside and look at your front and back yards how much lawn do you really need?

Container Garden

Container Garden Bob Ewing photo
Container Garden Bob Ewing photo

food not lawns


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • bradmauer profile image


    9 years ago

    great advice nothing is better than some nice fresh veggies out of the garden

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Excellent, thanks for dropping by.

  • aslanlight profile image


    9 years ago from England

    I'm in the process of turning my front lawn into a herb garden and totally agree with your claims! Rock on!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Sound question, thanks for dropping by.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 

    9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    When spend so much time and money to get our lawn to look good. Is it really worth it?

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    @IslandVoice "I am totally in agreement with you. It's time to grow our food in our own yards."

    i agree to it

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 

    9 years ago from Philippines

    I was intrigued by your title and decided to stop by. I certainly agree, we should grow our own vegetables rather than maintain a lawn.

    I used to have a small patch of lawn but have replaced it with a few fruit trees, some flowering shrubs and potted vegetables.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Landscaping goes way beyond lawn, Thank you all for droppng by.

  • IslandVoice profile image

    Sylvia Van Velzer 

    9 years ago from Hawaii

    I am totally in agreement with you. It's time to grow our food in our own yards.

  • jiberish profile image


    9 years ago from florida

    Bob, another great Hub, however, my son ( the landscaper) read this with me, and he's shaking his head, grass is his life. :)

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 

    9 years ago from United States

    Lawns are the biggest waste of land and money to maintain them. Edible gardens and flowers are the only way to go.


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