Sunday, April 26, 2015

Garden Profile: Brittany & Daniel Shultz in Knoxville, Tennesee's Apartment garden project

Brittany and Daniel Live in an apartment with no yard. They wanted to grow food anyway. Brittany writes:
Bike powered gardening!

Our amazing property management team allowed my husband and I to start a community garden on the common lawn. We have so far recruited 6 beautiful families and chatted with many lookie loos. We've made some great new friends, just last night one of the members cooked us traditional nepalese food in our kitchen! And the garden continues to pay forward. My mom, who has never grown food outside of tomatoes in a pot, is allowing me to take a third of her half acre and create space for all of the seedlings that we will thin as they pop up and all of the extra starts that need a home.
We started planting this week, and are one bed away from filling our spot. We've tried to be a diverse as we can and companion plant for better soil and pest control. We spent 2 weeks working the hard clay/rock mixture with sand and gave the water a path for drainage under the fresh top soil. This morning as I watered I could hear the water trickle down the slope and under the fresh soil in the beds.

Day 1: Excited husband!

Encouraging neighbors
Baby plants in the ground
Playing in the dirt!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What if I don't have a lawn? Where to grow food if you don't have land.

by Heather Jo Flores

Lately there have been a lot of queries about how to grow food not lawns if you live in an apartment. Here is an excerpt from my book,  Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Communitywith some ideas:

What If I Don’t Have a Lawn?
For people who are lucky enough to have fertile soil in their own yard, starting a garden is easy. For those who don’t have good soil—or don’t have a yard at all—starting a garden takes a little more effort. Most soil, especially in urban areas, responds well to organic improvements, and it usually makes more sense to build soil on a convenient spot than to travel far from home to garden in an area that is already fertile.

We’ll learn how to build good soil on any ground in a later chapter, but what if you don’t have a garden space at all? In the next few pages we’ll look at how to find places to grow gardens, and how to make the most out of the spaces you find. The biggest limit to what you can do is your own creativity, so see what you can think of and share your ideas with others. Ultimately city dwellers’ best resource is neighbors, so tap into their hearts and minds, and don’t hesitate to share your own.

The following land-access strategies will help you get started.

Monday, April 20, 2015

4 Rules for Growing Food in the Front Yard

by Heather Jo Flores

This is an excerpt from an article published recently in the North Coast Journal. Read the full article here:

Food Not Lawns: Bringing the Farm to Your Front Yard
The transformation of any lawn to a garden is always a good thing. However, growing food in the front yard becomes a statement to your community, telling them that you value homegrown food. Front yard gardens invite community dialogue, and bring fellow gardeners in the neighborhood out of the woodwork. Front yard gardens can also provoke complaints from the neighbors, however, so follow these four basic guidelines to help ensure those neighborly reactions are positive:
1. Be creative. Spend some time designing a garden that is beautiful and unique. Get some books on edible ornamentals and create a landscape people will see as a work of art.
2. Be consistent. Don't let the front yard get overgrown and unsightly. Keep up with weeding, mulching and pruning. Be ruthless with dead and diseased plants. If your energy for gardening wanes, scale back your plans and only grow what you can maintain.
3. Be charitable. Offer surplus produce, plants and seeds to your neighbors. Invite them to share in the harvest and offer to help them with their garden ideas. Neighbors who value you as a friend are much less likely to cause problems.
4. Be considerate. Understand that not everyone in your neighborhood will be as excited about growing food as you are. Don't leave piles of soil or cardboard in the driveway for weeks on end. Consider their needs and they will consider yours.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 First Annual Food Not Lawns Edible Nation Tour

Share the Tour Schedule from Facebook Here!

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Heather Flores, author & founder of Food not Lawns will tour across the USA, giving workshops, planting gardens and building community.



  • June 23-24 New chapter launch: seed swap, roadshow and neighborhood design workshop in Lawrence, KS
  • June 25-28 Food Foresting with  Food Not Lawns Kansas City
  • July 2-5  Roadshow, Lawn Liberation & Neighborhood Design Workshop with Fort Wayne Food Lawns
  • July 24-25 New chapter launch: Seed swap, roadshow, neighborhood design workshop and lawn liberation in Clarkston, MI 
  • July 26 New chapter launch: Lawn Liberation & Roadshow in Detroit, MI 

Southeast and Southwest Tour in Spring of 2016

To book an event, contact us.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

How to Organize a Community Seed Swap in 7 Easy Steps

By Heather Jo Flores

Want to listen to a version of these instructions in audio format?

Whether you save your own seeds or just have a bunch of leftover packets from years past, a seed swap is a great way to expand the diversity of both your garden and your community. But don't limit yourself to just seeds! I have been organizing events like these for close to 20 years and folks have brought surplus plants, trees, garden supplies, food preserves and homebrews. A seed swap attracts more than just the local permaculture crowd. People from all walks of life have a passion for gardening and seed saving and this event can bridge gaps and build new friendships that lead to a close-knit and more sustainable community for everyone. Here's how:
Check out some great photos from seed swaps of the past, here.
And some more great photos, here

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