Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Food not lawns: I couldn't agree more


For today's selection of 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend, it is a special treat because I actually know the author, Heather Jo Flores, who penned Food Not Laws: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community (2006).

I met Heather in Portland and then dutifully read Food Not Laws. The book is part of a movement to do what it says — to replace grassy laws with edible food. Honestly, I see no point of our grassy lawns, other than tradition and conformity.  I imagine if the entire United States followed Heather's lead, the air quality would improve, we would use water more efficiently and our land would be so much healthier.

Here is the irony, though. Albeit it quite tiny, my lawn still is grass. I am sorry, Heather. I swear we will at at least put in drought-resistant landscaping and, hopefully, a garden. I vow to get with it — eventually.

When I was in Ohio recently, I ran across a yard with crops in Cleveland Heights and a homemade sign that read "Food Not Lawns!" I thought, "Wow, this is actually a bit of a thing."
There are 50 Food Not Lawns chapters worldwide, and I hope the movement keeps growing. I find it sad that to turn a lawn into a food-producing garden is a subversive act. It shouldn't be that way.

Heather wrote a page-turning book that is a mixture of philosophy and practical advice. I found that I am 100 percent onboard with the philosophy part, but needed help with the practical side. One of my hangups is that I am in Southern California, so it rains so infrequently that I didn't want to waste water on a garden.

But it's a silly thought because I already waste water on the grass, so why do I let that thought hold me back? I guess I have a bit of self-loathing on the Food Not Lawns issue because while I wholeheartedly support the movement, I'm not doing it myself. Am I really supporting it then? Hmm.


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