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Edible Estates -- a landscaping trend

Years ago I turned my new home's front yard into a wagon-wheel herb garden. It flourished. The bees came. The neighbors complained. The herb garden was gone!

But what I learned was about community, and about finding the right solution for the location. Herbs are enticing for bees -- and if your neighbors happen to be allergic to bees, then living together peacefully requires adaptation. Maybe vegetables would be better -- or salad greens that don't go to seed. Ah, the art and science and politics of edible estate planning...

The Edible Estates project is part of the Gardenlab program, established by Fritz Haeg in 2001. With the garden as a metaphor and actual laboratory, it supports ecology based initiatives in art and design.

Edible Estates is an attack on the American front lawn and everything it has come to represent.

Edible Estates reconciles issues of global food production and urbanized land use with the modest gesture of a domestic garden.

Edible Estates is an ongoing series of projects to replace the American front lawn with edible garden landscapes responsive to culture, climate, context and people.

Edible Estates is a practical food producing initiative, a place-responsive landscape design proposal, a scientific horticultural experiment, and a conceptual land-art project.

Located in the Los Angeles area, Edible Estates provides hope for a more practical future. Lawns not only waste productive land, but they are rarely "organic" -- meaning free from herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. By replacing lawns with organic places, we will not only make fresh food available for our families, but reduce the urban runoff that pollutes our soil, our groundwater and our rivers and lakes...and ocean.


Fresh food from your own garden provides a joy hard to match with other urban adventures!


Learning how to convert a lawn into a garden is exciting, challenging and rewarding -- and learning which plants will attract beneficial insects and protect the health of family and neighbors is also a learning challenge.


Starting small can be a good action plan. Plant an edging of lettuce in around your shrubs. But first -- stop using chemicals so that your food will be organic and healthful for both you and the butterflies!