The NYT recently reported on a new front in the war against sod, a project called “Edible Estates.” The project is run by an architect, Fritz Haeg. The Times puts it thus:
Mr. Haeg regards the Edible Estates project as something of a manifesto. He fantasizes about setting off a â€œchain reactionâ€ among gardeners that would challenge Americans to rethink their lawns â€” which he insists on calling â€œpre-edibleâ€ landscapes â€” though he knows the chances are slim.
Though the Times finds safety in denigrating the possibility of change, my experience suggests that there are plenty of folks rejecting the traditional suburban landscape, and a heck of a lot of ’em are blogging about it. It’s enough to make me feel optimistic! The title of this post comes from a persuasive argument written by a 7th grader for school. Her family is the second to participate in the project, and has had their family lawn reclaimed for productive purposes—it’s not just the landscape that is changed by these shifts we make. You can read the essay, and also Haeg’s manifesto on his web site (scroll past the list of recent news to get to the manifesto). Thanks to Antonia for the link. A teaser:
Edible Estates proposes the replacement of the American lawn with a highly productive domestic edible landscape. Food grown in our front yards will connect us to the seasons, the organic cycles of the earth and our neighbors. The banal lifeless space of uniform grass in front of the house will be replaced with the chaotic abundance of bio-diversity. In becoming gardeners we will reconsider our connection to the land, what we take from it and what we put in it. Each yard will be a unique expression of its location and of the inhabitant and their desires. Valuable land will be put to work.