When Did Lawns Become Such A Source Of Ego?


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Did it happen when farmers and their distribution agents all but made sure that you had the food you needed to feed your family? Did it start when grocery stores opened on every corner? Whenever it happened and whatever caused it, the idea of having the perfectly groomed green lawn became an ego trip of sorts. Comparing yours to your neighbors, spending hours spraying chemicals all over it to make it greener, spending all day Saturday making sure the blades of grass all go in the same direction…it’s all…nonsense. When you own a home, you are sitting on prime real estate for growing some of your own food. Why pay the grocery store for stuff you can grow for free at home? Why not spend some time, energy and money converting your lawn into a source of food and shelter?

Unfortunately, not too many people will ever see the benefit of sparing their lawn from water waste, chemical run-off and fruitless exhaustion. It’s a shame, really. Imagine your entire front or back (or both) yard covered with tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, corn, cucumbers…the possibilities are endless. Imagine planting trees that will grow so tall that they will shade your house and lower your electric bill. Imagine the money you would save at the grocery store!

So next time you head out to mow the lawn or spray it with pesticide or fertilizer, take a look around. What areas could you spare in order to grow some food for your family? Really, growing food does not take that much work and when you feed it to your kids, at least you will know who planted it, what was used to help it grow, and exactly where it came from. You do not need a degree in horticulture to grow some healthy plants…you just need to free your mind from the “lawn envy” that permeates our society. Who cares if your neighbors lawn is greener and is cut beautifully? At least yours can feed you.

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  1. An interesting point to me is that the ‘perfect lawn’ seems to be an American ideal, straight from the ‘burbs….which come from urban sprawl and man’s desire to tame nature or get back to nature????

  2. My father grew up in a small lumber town in Northern California. There were many first generation Italian immigrant families who lived in town. He told me that many of the Italian families would rip out the front lawns and plant expansive vegetable gardens instead. They thought that the grass was a waste of space.

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