I saw this awesome photo by https://www.facebook.com/GrowFoodNotLawns on Facebook today. I shared it and said: ”
My friend Dana responded:
“If we had the time/energy as a nation to do so… Not that I’m saying this is a bad idea, but for me personally, without a car, having to have a full time job to pay bills (student loans that won’t quit, ever-climbing rent etc), to come home and do the work that’s required every day to maintain a lawn full of produce (if I had a lawn to begin with)… Then again, this might be a great way to create jobs. If every apartment complex in the US turned their perfectly-manicured lawns into garden patches, paid the landscaping guys to be farmers instead, and then provided the tenants with equal shares of the food… /ponderponder
To which I responded:
It’s true that a lot of us already have a lot on our plates, especially those of us who are investing a lot in just getting through the daily grind and are underpaid for the efforts. I wanna start with the part where you say “if I had a lawn to begin with”. That’s the hardest part I think… not having access to land that we (well, I *finally* kind of do) have the right to dream about, play with, dig up, plant, nurture, etc. *That* is the hardest part to get access to. My experience this summer was that, yes, sometimes it was really hard to get out there and water and weed while I was exhausted from my ever-demanding corporate job. But it was a little less shopping to do. It got me outside and moving my body and connecting to the earth in really meaningful ways. And it doesn’t have to be a full lawn, or maybe not at the beginning. What if every weekend, instead of mowing the whole lawn, half of it was mowed, and the time that would have been spent mowing the other half was instead spent digging it instead… Then the next weekend, mowing the part that wasn’t dug, and then spend the remaining time digging on the half that was previously mowed, etc? I will note that it is definitely really really hard to do this alone, and while I get a lot of the credit, especially for the initiative, Daniel helped me tremendously with the daily watering when I couldn’t get to it.
I think a lot too about the idea of what landlords could do in cooperation with their tenants. Actually, it’s that kind of thinking that leads me to believe in the crucial need for intentional communities with this kind of aim towards self reliance, not to mention what it would do to reduce greenhouse gases, improve our health, and make our economy more resilient as you mentioned. Someday, I hope you have a lawn, a short, easy, commute, and a regular schedule! ❤