Every Lawn a Garden

Credit: Elizabeth Rowlands

Now, a new campaign just kicked off by the Public Health Association of BC reminds us that by growing fruits and vegetables we are also strengthening our communities. In fact, “Every Lawn A Garden” (https://everylawnagarden.ca) encourages everyone in our province to transform a bit of their lawn or flowerbed into a food garden.

“In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, research indicates communities in B.C. could run out of food in two to three days,” says program coordinator Steve Pedersen. By growing edibles, we reduce our dependency on imported food. Plus, we benefit from increased nutrition, added exercise and that rosy-cheeked sense of well-being that a garden can bring. For those without a lawn to lose, Pedersen reminds us that growing edibles is very doable in container, balcony, rooftop and community gardens.

Growing a food garden is also a wonderful way to connect with our children, says Sharon Hanna, director of the garden program at Queen Alexandra School. As one of their many projects, students made a garden bed on top of gravel by a wire fence. “We laid down a 10-inch layer of our own maple leaves, topped with our own compost, and planted tomatoes,” she says.

By placing a thick layer of wet newspaper or cardboard beneath the mulch, gardeners can use a similar strategy to plant over lawn. Hanna’s “super-easy” picks for beginners arekale (“kids love nibbling on buds and flowers in spring”), lettuce, onion sets, and bush beans.

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