Would you eat your landscape?

As we near the Thanksgiving holidays, maybe you’re thinking about fall harvests.  But if the land around your house is covered in lawn, consider this: traditional turf uses the same amount of water as vegetable gardens. If you’re going to grow something that uses that much water, maybe you should be able to recoup some of that investment in a practical way, by eating it.

Since no one wants to sit down to plate of Bermuda and St. Augustine, how about putting in some plants that yield some fruit and vegetables?  Planting plants you can actually eat is a wonderful way to not only celebrate the seasons, but to make sure that the resources you’re putting into your landscape are paying you back.

What if your landlord is not keen on your ripping up the lawn and putting in rows of corn? No worries, consider joining a local community garden. Community gardens allow you to grow the delicious crops you crave and while you’re doing so, you can meet fellow gardeners.  The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust has a great guide to community gardens in Los Angeles. You can also go to the American Community Gardening Association to find a community garden near you.

If you don’t want to go it alone, then get a few of your buddies together and share the garden plot. You can have all the fun and a bit less work, and spend some meaningful times with family and friends.

Don’t know what to do with all those extra fruits and veggies?  Any extras will be gladly accepted at local food banks.

Can’t quite swing all of this right away? Then round up some friends and go to a local orchard or farm. Picking local, delicious apples or winter squash is a great way to enjoy the abundance of autumn and the magic of harvest time.

By Lisa Cahill

Lisa Cahill first began her work with TreePeople as a volunteer Citizen Forester. She currently serves on the board of directors for the reDiscover Center, continues to volunteer as a Citizen Forester, has been on the Mar Vista Green Garden Tour and serves on several green committees at her church and children's schools. She most enjoys working in the garden with her husband, watching her children and vegetables grow.