Front Lawn Farming 

Fritz Haeg wants you to eat your yard. Not your grass, but the fresh, delicious produce you could be growing in that wasted space. Established in Salina, Kan., his “edible estate” movement is gaining national momentum as more Americans look for ways to reduce their negative impact on the environment and make up for the rising cost of food by consuming locally grown fruits and vegetables. The basic premise calls for homeowners to remove all of their grass, then plant fruit and vegetable crops on the land instead. Haeg’s book, Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, documents four yards in four different cities from Lakewood, Calif., to London, which his group has converted since 2005 from “banal lifeless space” into a “chaotic abundance of biodiversity.”

With two more projects planned this year in Baltimore and Austin, Haeg intends to ultimately bring edible estates to nine cities. By then, he hopes others will have started to follow his example. If you want to join the movement and save some loot at the grocery store, all you need are a few basic farm implements like a sod-cutter, roto-tiller, and irrigation system, along with a green thumb. On his official website,, Haeg enthusiastically offers burgeoning plow jockeys step-by-step directions for a speedy yard conversion, including tips on how to layout your crops and keep uninvited guests like rabbits and squirrels away. —Josh Eboch


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