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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Food not Lawns

Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community, by H.C. Flores (Chelsea Green Publishing, $25)

This book gives you all the basics for growing food on that most wasted ground in America, the manicured lawn. The lawn itself is a hold over from romanticizing Colonist's desire to best the "old country". Our suburbs and cities do not have the acreage to support vistas of lawns for each household and the result is a cramped bit of yard. Why not turn it over and quit using the chemical broadleaf suppressant fertilizers? You'll mow less, and eat better.

Flores' work in Eugene has now blossomed into a global movement, and you can find many resources at

The community building suggestions here are quite simple, seed exchanges, offering surplus produce to neighbors and helping supply your local food bank to Superhero Bike Rides.

It's gardening season again, and even if you're still snowed in, it's never too early to dream of tender green lettuces and those late summer tomatoes. Our gardening section has many titles to help you and if we don't have what you're looking for, we'd be happy to track down a copy for you. And, every book ordered through the Book Report or Second Life gets a publisher's advance copy included as a thank you from us.

This year I'll be getting some raised beds going, and I also get to redo a large piece of the back border, thanks to a car dropping by in the middle of the night.

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  1. I have run out of room in my back for gardening and started raised beds in my front yard.
    I combine flowers with vegetables and have blueberry bushes and I always have people stopping by to see what is growing.
    I am increasing the veggies this year with less flowers and also adding another bed!

  2. You know what Ernest Hemingway purportedly said about his (and my) home town? He called it “a place of broad lawns and narrow minds.” (I like to think the minds are a little less narrow these days.) But anyway, for what it’s worth, we used to have a huge garden in our back yard back in the ’70s. Of course, we also had a United Farm Workers bumper sticker on our VW Microbus, too. Oh, we were soooo hippies back in the day.

  3. we are fanatic pea-patchers. Two 5 x 20 patches provide us with our 80% of our veggies for 6 months of the year. It's no small feat in Western Washington!


We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.