Thursday, April 02, 2009
Food Not Lawns, Food in the Lawn?
Man, how many of these have you pulled, and you could have sold them to Whole Foods for almost $3.00 a bunch?
I am thinking we should give it up on the lawn mower and start blowing those fuzzy seed ball tops like crazy. Bumper crop, baby.
Well, if you haven't sprayed your lawn, that is. Which in this case, herbicide would really cut down the yield.
We quit spraying anything except compost tea a couple years ago. I love the smell of compost in the morning.
This year I may eat the view, or at least eat the weeds before the neighbors complain — about the weeds and the odor.
Humor aside, we "green" types spend a lot of time talking about agribusiness and conventional versus organic and sustainable with regard to how we grow food and how that impacts the environment.
Nearly 400 million acres are farmed in the US for crop land. Only about four percent of this is fruit and vegetable production. So that is 16 million acres, approximately. Our lawns are 50 million acres.
Now, on this 50 million acres, we dump many of the same chemicals and fertilizers that are used in conventional agriculture, some $40 billion worth (including sod and seed). Chemicals that cause pollution in ground water among other issues. To grow these lawns, we use 270 billion gallons of water per week.
Get this, we do it so that we can spend an hour each week mowing all that grass we just used water and chemicals on to grow. And we don't even eat the dandelions. They're sprayed.
If our lawns were used for fruit and vegetable gardens instead of grass, they would take about half the amount of water as our grass and we would increase our nation's fruit and vegetable acreage by over 300 percent.
Kinda crazy when you think about it. So, if you've taken the step of eating more sustainable and organic, maybe it's time to grow some of that instead of grass. Or at least, go green with lawn care. But don't eat the hydrangeas. They're poisonous.