Action Recipe 2-6: Start a food growing campaign
It’s customary to put vegetable gardens in backyards and have lawns in the front. What about beginning to change the norm? A proud display of food producing plants in our front yards could become a sign that a neighborhood is taking care of some of its basic needs. Growing our own food gives us the pleasure of providing for some of those basic needs while enhancing a sense of community. It increases opportunities to share and communicate with each other along with reducing our reliance on finite fossil fuel energy. It can save money too. Commercially grown food is heavily reliant on fossil fuels in all aspects including machinery for turning the soil, planting and harvesting, fertilizers, pest control, storage, packaging and transport. After it gets to the store, more energy is used by consumers in transport, packaging and storage. Growing food in such highly visible places as front yards raises the importance growing food ourselves. Imagine going down your street and seeing front yards overflowing with the abundance of vegetables and fruit. We can begin to reclaim the means to feed ourselves and bring valuable land into its place in the natural cycle.
There are a number of different ways to grow edibles in a yard including the use of pots and framed boxes as well as lots of different kinds of edibles that can be grown including annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Edibles can also be grown on porches and inside on window sills. There are many creative kinds of gardens and ways to create them. Below is one type.
Would you like to learn how to garden better, help your neighbors learn the no dig technique and share garden produce with others?
- Want some ideas on being a host for your block? See: http://www.aa350.org/?page_id=922
- Instructions: http://www.no-dig-gardening.org/
- Edging material (optional); You can order Growing Hope raised bed kits until October 1, 2010
- Soil amendments (optional)
- Fresh grass clippings or manure
- Newspaper or cardboard
- Green layers: grass clippings or other seed free green cuttings, manure, food scraps or seaweed
- Brown layers: newspaper, cardboard, leaves, dry grass, spoiled hay or unsprayed straw
- Compost, soil or a mix
- Hand-made signs
- Talk to neighbors on your block about the idea of having a front yard garden and using the no dig technique.
- Invite interested folks over for tea and a talk about it. You might watch “No Dig Garden Construction”, a 2 minute You Tube video at http://www.no-dig-gardening.org/
- To start it, decide on several front yards of interested folks to install the gardens.
- Register your garden today!
- Write up a flyer describing the project and invite everyone to participate in whatever ways they can. Be sure to welcome all ages to participate. List ways to participate. Distribute to all neighbors on your block.
- Talk with other people in your neighborhood who already have front yard food gardens. Ask their advice and welcome their participation.
- Everyone start collecting materials and marking out the sites.
- Make yard signs. On the signs write, “350 GARDEN.” Install them on the designated yards as they are staked. Invite folks who already have a front yard garden to put up a sign.
- Decide on a date to install the gardens. Fall is good because it gives all the layers a chance to become rich soil and you time during the winter to dream about and plan for the delicious food that will grow in your front yard. This fall, on 10/10/10, there will be 350 actions all over the world. You could plan your first installations for that day.
- Consider recording your project through photos, videos and/or stories.
- Let everyone on the block know the date and invite them to help. Let them know the steps in creating a no dig garden. Some folks might bring tools, materials, hoses, refreshments to share after, instruments to make music as the garden is created…
- On the day designated, install the gardens, all going from one yard to the next, or have crews working simultaneously in several yards.
- Celebrate! Invite others to install them and repeat the process until everyone who wants one has one. Some folks might just want to have a few potted plants in a visible place.
- Invite folks from other blocks to do the same. Offer to help them get started.
- Over the winter, folks could gather to order seeds and plan for what delicious food to grow.
- Next summer, invite everyone with a “lawn-to-food” sign over for a potluck to eat food they’ve grown in their front yards.
- Leaflet other blocks with fliers describing the campaign and offering your services