Food Not Lawns
Front lawns are as American as apple pie and baseball... but why? Are they serving our needs?
Our nation's obsession with perfectly manicured, weed-free front lawns is an exercise in conformity as well as a means of upholding appearance over substance, and continuing to keep regular people dependent on large corporations to meet their fundamental human need for sustenance and nutrition.
What if we could collectively re-think the purpose of our front yards? What alternative functions might they serve? By converting unused front lawns into beautiful, productive gardens, we can achieve so much -
- Food for ourselves and our families,
- Food and connection with our neighbors,
- Emergency/disaster preperadness,
- Habitat and food for birds, bees, and other wildlife,
- Fewer (hopefully zero) harmful chemicals entering the soil and the air,
- Fewer harmful emissions from motorized lawn care implements,
- A wonderful way to connect with nature,
- And so much more!
Food Forests Workshop - Post Capitalism Conference at HSU, April 2019
Food Not Lawns Workshop - Post Capitalism Conference at HSU, April 2019
Resources for Replacing Your Lawn -
- Food Not Lawns' website
- Food Not Lawns - the book (for purchase)
- Food Not Lawns - free download of entire book!
- California Lawn Replacement Rebate Program
- Guidelines for growing food out front (and staying friends with the neighbors)
Need Some Help?
Cooperation Humboldt can help implement your front yard lawn conversion!
If you'd like to apply to be one of our potential sites, please complete this survey.
Also please join and post to our Cooperation Humboldt Food Not Lawns Facebook page.
Our Projects To Date:
Harrison Avenue, Eureka (Summer/Fall 2018)
It's amazing how much you can fit into a small front yard - in this 35' x 15' area, in addition to a variety of native and pollinator plants, the following edible plants are being grown: fig, apple, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, kale (annual and perennial), collards, artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, gooseberry, huckleberry, goumi, raspberries, broccoli, parsley, thyme, and more!
H Street, Eureka (Winter 2018/2019)
This site was converted from unused turf and is now planted with blueberries, kiwis, grapes, lemons, fruit trees (plum, apple), and native pollinators/edibles. The homeowner was able to secure reimbursement for all out-of-pocket expenses through California's Turf Replacement rebate program.
Walnut Drive, Eureka (Summer 2019)
The homeowner at this property had an amazing head start on this project, and just needed our help finishing up. Her whole front and back yards are all gardens, and she grows a great variety of edible plants.
D Street, Eureka (Summer 2019)
With a supportive landlord, these renters were excited to convert part of their front yard into food production. With raised beds for annuals and perimeter beds for perennials, they can grow a good mix of food crops, medicinal plants, and pollinators.
Summer Street, Eureka (Summer 2019)
A sweet lawn conversion for a lovely family, with a nice mix of edibles, medicinals, and perennial pollinators, sited near a busy park as a bonus for the neighborhood.
Community Fruit Trees Planted (Winter/Spring 2019)
We planted 22 fruit trees in publicly accessible locations throughout Arcata and Eureka in early 2019. Each is easily reachable by passers-by, and the fruits of the trees, once mature, will be made available to anyone who wants some.