This TED talk describes how local communities and the world at large can begin to use land to create edible landscapes instead of lawns. Pam Warhurst explains how she and a small group of garden revolutionaries began planting edible landscapes consisting of edible herbs, fruits and vegetables around their village in England without permission. The result? Countless miles of previously unused land has been converted into healthy chow.
Pam is urging the world to stop growing ‘pretty’ flowers simply for their aesthetic value and start growing edible plants in their place. Oh, those vines wrapped around city hall’s bicycle rack? Strawberries. Help yourself.
The idea of growing edible landscapes has also spread to homeowners around the world who are choosing to transform their front and back yards into gardens in place of traditional shrub-style landscaping. Ros Creasy has actually been creating edible landscapes for three decades! Everyday Joes and Janes are beginning to adopt more sustainable lifestyles through utilizing edible landscapes. Not only does the practice save you a nice chunk of cash, it is also way to make the food you eat healthier. It makes the environment happy as well by decreasing the amount of space required for commercial agriculture.
A particularly fruitful type of edible landscape is the food forest. The food forest has an almost legendary status among gardening and edible landscape enthusiasts due to the fact that it grows 9 different layers of edible crop on the same piece of ground. That’s not even the best part. A food forest is self contained, meaning you work very little to maintain it and there is no waste created by the forest since everything from the forest is recycled back into the soil. A food forest is literally the garden of Eden at your tongue’s command.
Whether through personal or communal gardening, keeping edible landscapes is an easily approachable and sustainable lifestyle choice. Anyone can do it. As Pam Warhurst said,
if you eat food, you’re in!
Come on fellow food lovers, you have nothing to lose, and hordes of delicious fruits and veggies to gain!
A highly suggested documentary if you’re interested in learning more about edible landscape history and different current techniques is the “Permaculture Trio” documentary, available in full on Youtube.
Your body, your community, your planet, and the future will thank you for growing food, not lawns.
Sources to get you started:
Youtube: A visit with Ros Creasy
Rosalind Creasy‘s website
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