8/09/2013

Eco Home Improvements 2: Lawn


"Deviation from nature is deviation from happiness." - Samuel Johnson

Interested in relieving stress, saving money, and having healthier food? Read on for ways to do all three!

 
 Maintaining a Garden, not a Lawn
 
 
The Grow Food Not Lawns initiative has been gaining some foothold as people around the country (and world) are transforming their lawns into gardens. This idea is simple and sensible: to take us back to the time when we not only grew our own food, but neighbors were involved with each other. 
By planting a garden you are creating a sustainable food source for your family, and potentially for family, friends, or neighbors too. From experience I can say that gardening drastically reduces food costs. A garden the size of the average living room can easily provide 6 different types of produce. Consider a lawn-sized garden and you could feed yourself well. Any extra fruits or veggies can be canned and saved for a later use. They can also be converted into jam, yogurt, pickled, made into salsa, dessert toppings, marinades, baby food, and more.
 
The most wonderful benefits of lawn gardens is that you will have constant access to organic food (if you don't use fertilizer or pesticides). It may surprise you but truly organic food is nearly impossible to find in any grocery store.
 
The other wonderful aspect is that neighbors may be encouraged to do it as well. The more neighbors who garden, the more produce you will have access to. You can trade one another, and when food is grown locally, then it helps our planet by reducing the emissions used to transport food across the country to distributors.

 
Gutter Gardens
 
 
 A quirky alternative to a lawn-garden is the gutter garden! They may not have the most appealing name, but these tiny treasures can be a great answer to someone looking to save money, eat better, and add a unique aspect to their outdoor space.
 
Gutter gardens are named after the fact that they are usually cultivated in gutters (not the ones on your house). In truth the term also applies to gardens grown in other non-traditional ways as well. Some people use recycled pop bottles, some tires, and still others use stacked pots.
 
The most wonderful thing about gutter gardens is that they can fit into almost any space. They can be mounted on the side of a house or garage, a fence, a patio, cultivated as window boxes, or made into whimsical privacy-screens when coupled with an "upcycled" wood pallet or section of fencing.
 
Gutter gardens have astounding potential to transform outdoor spaces and have countless applications. Feel free to invest in a money-saving and health-promoting addition to your yard that will have all of your neighbors interested.
 
Ideal for apartment patios, balconies, and small yards too!
 



 

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