Book Review - Food Not Lawns

Have you ever wondered why people today starve when there is so much food that goes to waste? Have you ever considered where your food comes from, and tried growing your own food instead of hitting up the grocery store every week? Imagine with me that instead of using our front lawns for a decorative, thruway to your house, with no other purpose or function but to look pretty, we use our front lawns to grow food to feed our families. H.C. Flores in Food Not Lawns sets out to show you how to do just that and how we can have it all, both the yard for recreation and for production.

Consider a few staggering stats about the average American lawn: "58 million Americans spend approximately thirty billion dollars every year to maintain more than twenty-three million acres of lawns .the same-sized plot of land could still have a small lawn for recreation and produce all the vegetables needed to feed a family of six. The lawns in the United States consume around 270 billion gallons of water a week — enough to water eighty-one million acres of organic vegetables, all summer long." When you put it like that, it seems like we should all turn our lawns into farms but Flores advocates garden awareness, not that we all become farmers overnight.Now wait just a minute, you might say, some US cities are not good for growing produce, say those in a desert, but the author has beat you to this, as she has tips for any, and I mean any, landscape and even those 'problem' lawns. At times the beginner may get lost among the horn manure suggestions (filling a cow horn with cow manure, burying it over the winter, and then mixing with water and sprinkling on a lawn for fertilizer) and the seed ball recipe (combining multiple seed types with clay into a ball as one way to re-vegetate an area), but don't worry, book is more of a resource and not a straight novel and can be picked up as needed as reading it through all at once may be a bit daunting.

Dubbed 'paradise gardening', the author suggests we return the land to a more natural state, where we see the earth and food production with a more holistic and natural approach. The author challenges the reader to think about where resources for a garden come from, how to limit ones footprint while still having an abundant and satisfying garden and offers tips on getting children excited about gardening. As the debate rages on about local vs. organic local vs organic , and the 100 mile diet 100-mile diet , this author suggests that by cutting out a lot of the excess consumerism and really get back to the land we will begin to heal ourselves, both physically and mentally.

You can find the book at Chelsea Green Publishing Chelsea Green Publishing, or at

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