The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home


Edible Front Lawn by cslota
September 2, 2008, 5:51 am
Filed under: precedents, Social / Cultural Issue | Tags: ,

A great deal of energy and resources are used to produce, package, and especially transport our food which in essence, all contribute to global warming. Cost of food (and oil) has increased tremendously within the past few years, and a good portion of the price of food is derived from transporting it from where it is grown to the grocery store.

The Edible Estates project hopes to aid in this fact by showing people a creative way to contribute to the movement against global warming and raise awareness about a wasteful lifestyle. Fritz Haeg, the artist who founded the project is challenging the notion of the front lawn. He is working with many families and organizations to plant Edible Estates, an artistic garden abundant with fruits, herbs, and vegetables, easily mistaken for a well-landscaped front lawn. This concept is not a new one, however. During WWI and WWII, the American government asked its citizens to plant gardens in their front lawns to aid in the war effort, called Victory Gardens. In the end, the gardens provided for one-third of the nation’s vegetable consumption at that time.

And if investigated thoroughly, the front lawn of a home is an incredible waste of resources. The money spent on lawn mowers, leaf blowers, fertilizers, weed killers, is necessary to keep the lawn alive and green. Many fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are made from petroleum-based products (Organictobe.org). Personal time and energy must be spent to perform those tasks. And when considering the return from your lawn, all it offers is something nice to look at. Repurposing the front lawn for a food-producing garden would allow a low-income family to reduce the frequency of grocery store visits, thus reducing the amount of gasoline used, thus saving the family money. There is also a certainty that the food is grown and maintained organically. The cost of a garden really depends on how much you want to grow, and money is spent on seeds annually. Seeds can be ordered from catalogs and mailed to you, or can be found at a grocery store. A 1 ounce package of seeds for a vegetable is about $3 – $5. There is also the one-time cost of gardening tools. Maintenance costs are applied for natural fertilizers and water to nourish the plants, and this water can come from a gray water filtration system so no new water is wasted for plants.

Read an article from Time Magazine here.

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