About this project
Lawns are the Worst!
Americans spend over $30 billion every year to maintain over 40 million acres of lawn. Yet over 40 million people live below the poverty level. Even if only ⅓ of every lawn was converted to a food-producing garden, we could eliminate hunger in this country.
Lawns use more equipment, labor, fuel, and agricultural chemicals than industrial farming, making lawns the largest (and most toxic) agricultural sector in the United States. Lawnmowers burn more fuel every year than all industrial oils spills of the last twenty years, combined.
Growing Food Not Lawns is a beautiful, responsible and empowering step towards finding real solutions to the major problems we face as a global society.
Food Not Lawns Song by Heather Jo Flores
Grow Food, Not Lawns!
When the original chapter of Food Not Lawns started in 1999, in a tiny space behind a park in Eugene, Oregon, our vision was to share seeds and plants with our neighborhood, to promote local awareness about food security, and to learn about permaculture, sustainability and organic gardening.
Our project blossomed. We received a Neighborhood Improvement Grant from the City of Eugene, and conducted a low-cost permaculture design course for the neighborhood. We transformed most of the neighborhood lawns into lush organic gardens. We hosted annual seed swaps. Soon, we started to get mail from people around the country who were starting up local Food Not Lawns chapters of their own, and a movement had been born.
In 2006, co-founder Heather Flores published Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community (Chelsea Green.) The first half of the book is about gardening in the city, with no budget and on shared land. The second half is about working with people to build community around shared food and resources.
Now there are more than 50 affiliated Food Not Lawns groups in the United States, Canada, and the U.K.. The original Food Not Lawns collective just hosted its 16th annual seed swap, and the meme, "Food Not Lawns," has taken root in the mainstream consciousness.
We need your Support!
This campaign is a tool to raise funds for outreach and education, and every donation comes with a reward that helps everyone.
Workshops in your community
Workshops can help jump-start new gardens and strengthen local networks by bringing people together to share seeds, resources, tools and knowledge about permaculture, sustainability and organic food. Workshop topics will be tailored to meet the needs of your community. You can choose from (or combine):
- Food Not Lawns chapter start-up workshop
- How to organize garden-based community projects
- Ornamental edible landscaping
- Self-care for activists
- Permaculture 101
- Yoga of Permaculture
- Ecological art
Hosting a Heather Jo Flores Workshop in your community means so much more than just hearing her talk. Heather literally wrote the book on Food Not Lawns, and as one of the founding members, she has had her thumb on the pulse of this movement since the beginning. She emphasizes friendship-based learning, and her events always incorporate a heavy dose of community interaction and team-building play. To read more about Heather's workshops, click here.
Semi-Final Tour Schedule:
- May 2-6 Tacoma & Seattle, WA
- May 29-31 Village Building Convergence, Portland
- June 19-20 Missoula, MT
- June 23-28 Lawrence and Kansas City
- June 29-July 2 Logansport, IN
- July 3-4 Fort Wayne, IN
- July 5-7 Cadillac, MI
- July 8-9 Detroit, MI
- July 10-14 New York
- July 15-16 Philadelphia
- July 17-18 Wilbraham, MA
- July 19-21 Jeffersonville, VT
- Stickers, T-shirts, Yard Signs & Starter Kits spread the message and help you establish or expand your local Food Not Lawns project.
- Website sponsorships connect people to your work (we place your logo on our website) and support the expansion of www.foodnotlawns.org into a user-generated network for sharing skills, knowledge, photos, events and other resources.
- Consultations with Heather Flores help you maximize the beauty, functionality and sustainability of your garden and/or community project.
"50 Ways to Grow Food Not Lawns," a new audio handbook from Heather Jo Flores, provides how-to information for everything from lawn removal to how to organize a seed swap.
Please note: all merchandise rewards will be shipped May 15. Thank you!
It's Not Just About Gardening!
Food not Lawns is not just about gardening. It's not just about food. And it is certainly not just about social media. We are about building neighborhood-based, friendship-driven communities, on the ground, in person, and for real.
FNL has always maintained a very simple approach:
- We help each other turn yards into gardens;
- We host events to share seeds, plants, skills, tools, land and information;
- And we educate and advocate for communities that want to take back control of their food from the corporate profiteers.
These actions, when combined, build empowered local networks, and help foster a strong sense of community-wide security, stability and sustainability.
We really want to share all of this with you, so please help us make it happen.
We Love you! See You Soon!
Video by Aaron Fromenthal
Beet art on Logo by H. Flores, Graphic Design by Elizabeth James
Risks and challenges
UPdate March 22:
We did it! ALl merchandise will be shipped by May 15! Tour starts May 2!
Be sure to find us on Facebook and join our mailing list to stay posted on local events as the tour comes to your neighborhood!
Support this project
- (31 days)