Gone with the Lawn: Edible Yards

Gone with the Lawn: Edible Yards

Lauren Zerbey
May 26, 2011

Edible yards have grown in popularity since 2008, when architect and artist Fritz Haeg released his first book, Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. The idea is to trade your water-intensive, fertilizer-dependent lawn for a sustainable, food-producing garden – a food source for your family and an educational demonstration for the neighborhood. If you're still imagining rows of cornfields lining your driveway, check out these inspiring projects and how they were able to successfully integrate a productive garden without sacrificing aesthetics.

Shown above the jump, left to right:

1. & 2. Located near Los Angeles (an area that has plenty of lawns yet receives little rainfall), this Edible Estate was established in 2006 and serves as a friendly and inviting gesture to the neighborhood.

3. & 4. Completed in 2007, this lawn in Maplewood, NJ was one of the initial Edible Estates projects and shows that the idea can be successful in suburban neighborhoods.

5. Submitted by Re-Nest reader Ali in 2009, she spent six months overhauling her yard in an effort to lead a more sustainable and cost-effective lifestyle.

6. Another Edible Estate (via Dwell), this image shows that you don't need neat rows of similar plants to grow food. The grouping of plants in unexpected and reads more as a garden than a mini-farm.

7. This edible front yard (by Seattle landscape architecture firm Fresh Digs), is good example of mixing edibles and ornamentals and was profiled in Ivette Soler's new book, The Edible Front Yard.

8. If there's anyone that would be a proponent of the edible yard, it's Michael Pollan. Pollan and his wife Judith Belzer worked with landscape designer Bernardo Lopez to transform their 600 square foot front yard in Berkeley into a functional and comfortable garden space (via SFGate).

9. The Dervaes family (of Urban Homestead fame), converted their Pasadena front and back yards into edible gardens with over 300 kinds of produce!

10. Last but not least, even the White House has jumped on the edible bandwagon. In 2009, Michelle Obama coordinated the planting of an 1,100 square foot edible garden on the South Lawn of the White House (via Inhabitat).

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(Images: as linked)

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