by Taetske | 2:08 pm
(Last Updated On: October 22, 2019)

 

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.

 

garden with big lawn

Garden with a big lawn

 

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.

 

young man watering lawn

Young man watering the lawn

 

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.

 

big lawn mower

Big lawn mower

 

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 an 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.

 

 

Backyard Abundance

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.

 

potato harvest

Potato Harvest

 

Ecologia Design

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.

 

happy butterfly in your garden

Happy butterfly in your garden

 

Edible Estates

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.

 

Sadhana Forest

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.

 

home grown onions

Homegrown onions

 

Conclusion

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 healthy vegetable harvest

A healthy vegetable harvest

 

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

 

Perhaps you like to also read this post.

Update on Fast Food is devastating, beware of your Health.

Comments

Stein

Hey Taetske!

This was a very inspiring article! The biggest problem I see is the money issue in the poorest countries that need it most. Those who are rich and have a better standard of living do not care because they live without worries. I just know about an organization that tries to make more landscapes edible which is Greenfinity Foundation.

Oct 06.2018 | 11:24 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Stein,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. There are big disparities in our world and it would be good if we would all realize this. The so-called wealthy countries have an obligation to have a close look at themselves and see what could be changed for the better. I myself was quite shocked when I found out about how water is wasted and also how harmful are all these herbicides on the lawns. 

    Before we will be able to make changes we will have to learn to think in a different way, are our priorities really that important and does it have any benefit for the rest of the world.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 06.2018 | 01:35 pm

Shane

Hi I totally agree with you on many points but one is the quality of the worlds drinking water. if we live in a developed country we are blessed with a healthy and plentiful supply of drinking water and we should be thankful. i love the idea of an edible landscape growing our own fresh fruit and vegetables is an amazing way to be active and healthy and to have good food is also something a lot of people take for granted. we can start in our own backyards and do our little to help the planet.

i really enjoyed your site, all the best, thanks Shane.

Oct 12.2018 | 11:07 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Shane,

    I fully agree with you, let’s all do a little bit and it will make a big impact on our world. When one thinks that some 2000 millions of people struggle to get their daily water supply it makes one become conscious that one should be happy for how we have it. We should not waste so much, be it food or water. We should take better care of nature as a whole. I think we still have a long way to go.

    I am happy you enjoy my site, thank you for your comment and I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 12.2018 | 12:30 pm

Tim

Great article thanks for sharing! This has got me thinking, and here are some of my thoughts.

The message about water on this planet is such an important one, and one I think is too often overlooked. Yes 70% of the surface is covered by the ocean, and while the ocean is extremely important, this water unfortunately is not the water we humans need. Drinking water is an extremely important resource.

With regards to Edible-Landscapes i think this is going to be a necessity for us (the human race) going forward as we continue to over populate our planet and live in more and more densely packed cities. Rooftop gardens and planter boxes on the sides of high rises are a great start but we will need more of this type of innovation.

No longer can we push the forests, jungle and wilde life out of the way to create our habitats. We need to work with nature to continue our existence, not against it.

Cheers

Oct 12.2018 | 11:11 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Tim,

    Well said, we should not continue to push nature and wildlife away or even destroy it so we can expand our habitat.Lets face it, we are the invasive species.

    Making edible landscapes, it will do out health tons of good. Looking around you see health declining so this would be a positive shift.

    The fact that 2000 millions of people struggle every day to get their ration of drinking water is awful. There is 70% of oceans so actually water enough but what do we do, we contaminate it with plastic. We would do better to make desalination plants in the world, anyhow, these are major things to think about.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 12.2018 | 12:39 pm

Parmi

This is a very interesting article Taetske! It’s incredible to know how we take water granted in the western world. Having lived in the mountains of Nepal, I can agree with what you say here about how hard it is to get water in some parts of the world. I remember when I was really high up, the water was really hard to get. We had to make at least an hour journey down to one of the rivers to get water for the day. And unfortunately they didn’t have the best buckets to store water either. So it was quite a struggle. The numbers that you mentions here about how much water is used in the laws is ridiculous! Thanks for sharing!

Oct 12.2018 | 11:15 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Parmi,

    Thank you for your interesting comment on my post. I can imagine it must have been really tiring to have to get the daily water ration from so far away. When one hears a story like that and on the other side see how water is wasted one has to come to the conclusion, there is a grave imbalance in the world.

    Thank you for your visit, I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 13.2018 | 01:27 pm

Daniel

Hi Taetske, I must say that this article is very helpful and inspiring. I completely agree with you in the term of edible landscapes but unfortunately not so many people actually care about it. I hope that this article will motivate people to start thinking seriously about this as it is very important for our planet.

Mar 31.2019 | 12:18 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Daniel,

    I do hope that people will realize that resources have a limit. We should be more careful in our use. There is enough for everybody but this waste is really sad. I agree with you and also hope people will start thinking about this.

    Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Mar 31.2019 | 08:32 pm

Chris

I live in Wales (UK) and the amount of water we waste over here is quite ridiculous really…I think it’s down to the weather system we have here through the winter (rain and snow…and lots of it!). 

It always amazes me to watch documentaries of people in less developed countries walking miles and miles, just for a day’s worth supply of water! 

A very interesting article on Edible Landscapes (no, I’ve never heard the expression before), and shocking facts and figure linked to them! 

Mar 31.2019 | 12:19 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Chris,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    The figures are quite awful when you see them presented like this. On one side a big waste and on the other side, it even is a danger, quite crazy when one thinks about that. 

    Worldwide people have no good drinking water. It is not fair and resources could be better distributed. It is good to realize this and be grateful for where one can live and for what one has.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 31.2019 | 08:17 pm

Emmanuel Buysse

Great post.

Now honestly, I think we use too much water on that, last summer it was forbidden to use water for lawns, since it was a 2 month drought here. 49 million liters of water, that is what Belgians use every week for their lawns! It is unbelievable much, and I’m not talking about the big companies. Now, about pesticides, I will never use them, insects are good, and if you saw the result of the research, insects are dying out, and we have a problem soon if we don’t do something. Now I know that landscapes really help people to make them happy, and I really have nothing against it, but they have to do it naturally, and without spending too much water 

Mar 31.2019 | 12:21 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Emmanuel,

    I also love insects and like to observe them in my garden. When I decided to go green in 1981 I have been able to observe an increase which is good. The other day under the covered woodpile a big hedgehog and 3 small ones were discovered. They are cute but also very useful animals keeping bad bugs at bay. We can all contribute to make the world a better place.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 31.2019 | 08:06 pm

Dave

Hallo there Taetske, 

I totally agree with you on this.

The edible landscape is not something I have heard before but is one awesome idea considering the cost saving factors you have mentioned and the healthy lifestyle it brings.

I am just amazed at how much water lawns require, when it is actually less in supply. The amount of pesticides needed to take care of them is also very serious.

I have a lawn myself and your post has opened my eyes to something more valuable I can do with the lawn.

Thanks a lot and I have actually shared it to a couple of friends.

Keep up the awesome work. 

Cheers.

Mar 31.2019 | 12:27 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Dave,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I also found it quite shocking to find out about the waste of water, and the pollution that is generated by having a lawn. The good thing is one can always change. Starting on a farm in 1981 I became green and more conscious about my actions and the impact these might have on the environment.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 31.2019 | 07:39 pm

Tolu

I have never thought of this. Learning for the first time that pesticides are used on lawns and lawns takes some much water. I agree with you partly, not entirely. I understand that lawns take quite an extensive mass of land that some not all can be converted to edible landscapes. in my view, it depends on the purpose of the lawn. Lawn provides an avenue for people to relax and socialize. In places where there is little water, to me, it is counterproductive for a government struggling to provide her people with water for drinking to be using such quantity of water on a lawn. We need some of the lawns, while some can be converted to edible landscape

Mar 31.2019 | 12:29 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Tolu,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I can agree with you that some lawns might be nice so people can meet and children and animals can play. These lawns must be free from pesticides so there is no danger. When there is not so much water available it is, of course, better to use it for growing food. As with everything one should try and reach a balance.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 31.2019 | 07:15 pm

Olalekan Taliat

Wow ! This is amazing, I have not heard of edible landscape before. Sometimes ago I decided to grow my own vegetables, and the idea was later bought by some of my neighbors, it not only reduces my cost on groceries, but I also have that joy in my mind that am contributing to the green world campaign.

Reading this article made me feel better and am sure even though I did not officially lunch my on edible landscape, I have taken the step in my own.

Mar 31.2019 | 01:04 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Olalekan,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    That is great that you grow your own vegetables. They taste much better than the ones you buy. I also have a vegetable garden and enjoy it very much.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 31.2019 | 07:02 pm

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