Lawns!? My question to the average homeowner, Why on God's Green Earth? For most families lawns are not based on any utilitarian principle. The lawn is based on conformity to a generic and obsolete American dream. Lawns are as American as apple pie right? Wrong! Apple pie is delicious and nourishing. Your lawn is disgusting and unwholesome. Now don't get me wrong, I am not completely anti-lawn! Grasses are indigenous to many regions and can be naturally maintained. However, this is not the case for the vast majority. I am even in support of many unnaturally maintained lawns, due to the multitude of purposes that they serve, mainly community recreation. However, ask yourself what purpose does your lawn serve? It is beautiful? Is a seasonal vegetable garden not more beautiful? The kids enjoy running around on the lawn? Would they not enjoy running around in a vegetable garden even more? It gives you an opportunity to get outdoors and exercise? Again, vegetable garden!
Do you know how much water you waste to maintain your lawn? Likely not. A vegetable garden in place of your lawn would not only use less water but would yield wonderful, nourishing produce. A vegetable garden is not the only alternative to your disgustingly wasteful lawn and may not be the best alternative. A few urban dwellers are transforming their lawns into xeriscape landscapes, which do not require supplemental water. Beautiful herbs, flowers and plants can be used for xeriscaping schemes in many regions. The xeriscape alternative may be best for many urban dwellers who do not have the time or ambition to maintain an urban garden or in regions where an urban garden is not sensible.
Think of your lawn transformation as an opportunity to employ and nurture your creativity. Designing a small urban garden or xeriscape is an enjoyable and glorious process. Yes of course you are free to have and maintain your lawn, yet ironically by doing so you demonstrate that in fact you are not free to think. Think about it!