Edible-Landscapes can save a lot of water
Water is extremely important as without it we would soon die from dehydration.
In our world, water is not scarce, albeit the quality might be questionable. It might even seem a luxury to have clean water, which means healthy water. It is no good if the water from the tap is loaded with harmful substances, like herbicides etc. In our world we take having water for granted, it is our right isn’t it? In countries like Africa, South America and in the Far East it is not always easy to have a steady supply of drinkable water. People have to walk long ways and collect and return with it. 2,000 million people do not have their daily water guaranteed.
Do we use our water carefully?
Why am I writing this? Well, looking around, those places who do have a regular supply of water also have a tendency of wasting it. Washing cars, swimming pools and also lawns do take up huge amounts of water. We could all become a bit more conscious about how much water is actually really needed compared to how much water we would like to have to play around with.
By now you might be asking yourself what this post is about. Just recently I came across one of the good articles of Ocean Robbins. I receive his newsletter on a regular basis and pick up interesting things from it. This new story published in the Food Revolution Network, written on September 12, 2018, by Steve Edgerton citing as source FoodTank.com, is a real eye-opener.
What do lawns cost us?
Have you ever heard the term: Edible Landscapes? I found this an intriguing name and started reading. In our world, these are data from the U.S. mind you, there are lawns, parks, and schoolyards. These represent the single largest irrigated crop in the United States. The annual consumption of these spaces is staggering. These spaces need 9 billion gallons of water, 70 million pounds of pesticides, and 200 million gallons of gasoline. What I personally found hair-raising was the fact that such a huge amount of pesticides are used. After all these spaces are for our enjoyment, we dwell in them, we walk in them, children play in them. I just wonder how healthy this type of surrounding is.
The benefits of an edible-landscape
Coming back to the Edible Landscapes they are a good, beneficial on many levels, and a healthy alternative to the above mentioned. Create green spaces with the emphasis on native perennials and food-producing plants. It will create a harmonious space for people and flora and fauna. Think how happy butterflies and bees would be. All kind of insects would be saved from extinction and birds and small mammals would have clean food again. We would have the privilege of watching nature being in balance again, and at the same time, eat healthy food. These edible landscapes require a lot less water, or fertilizers and function organic as much as possible.
Food Tank makes reference to 15 organizations worldwide which have created edible landscapes. Some are listed below.
It was founded in 2006 and focuses on the fact that residents are the ones who take a role in changing the landscape into edible ones. It is a non-profit organization based in Johnson County, Iowa.
The founder is Michael Judd. Having many years of experience in Mexico and Nicaragua where he put in place, systems, designs, and functional landscaping. Combining this knowledge with studies at the New York Botanical Garden on modern landscape design. Ecologia is a combination of beauty and functionality with the emphasis on food production.
Edible Estates started in Kansas in 2006. Keeping in mind the culture, history, and climate possibilities, its goal is to create prototype gardens in the whole world. The aim is to collaborate with the local art institutions and community gardening groups.
A nonprofit operating in Haiti, India, and Kenia. The eroded land is being replanted with food producing trees. Since the founding in 2003, hundreds of thousands of trees have been planted.
These are just a few examples of the list with 15 names. For the complete list go to FoodTank.com
Rosalind Creasy has been writing about this subject in her book Edible Landscaping. She has a very nice website where you can even learn about edible flowers. To see a salad prepared with colorful petals is ever so inviting. Her books are available on Amazon.
I find this a very inspiring article. To change at least some lawns or schoolyards into edible landscapes would have a very positive impact on the world. It hardly matters where you live as one can find vegetables or food-bearing trees suited to nearly all climates. A lot less water will be needed. No pesticides either and nature can get back into balance. No loud noise of lawnmowers will disturb the peaceful quiet. Communities getting together and work side by side planting and reaping their own grown foods. Doing this you are in contact with nature and it helps to protect the environment. The satisfaction of eating your own grown food cannot be compared to store-bought. Your own grown food will surprise you with color, smell, and wonderful taste.
A little afterthought
How about changing your lawn into a food growing garden? There are many reasons why one should not have a lawn. Food gardens use 66% less water. A lawn wastes 50% of outdoor water as it is often sprayed too much or the water gets misdirected and lands on the road. By using a drip irrigation system for your food garden, nearly 100% lands in the right place. Pesticides used for lawns can end up in the drinking water. Your dear dog can also suffer the consequences as a study suggests. Chemicals are no good for humans, house pets, or fauna and flora. Research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says that children who are exposed to lawn pesticides increase the risk of childhood leukemia nearly 7 times. As the last detail, the EPA estimates that garden and gas-powered lawn equipment is responsible for 5% of our air pollution, that is a lot.
As you can see there are many reasons why you should try to grow your own food. It will save you money, it is better for your health and the environment. When do you give it a try?
Source: Food Revolution Network
Photo Source: Pixabay
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