Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Small, But Tasty Action - Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes

So here a business idea I've been kicking around for a while: front yard gardening. The concept is just like it sounds: form a company that helps people replace their unused lawns with a useful vegetable garden.

Rather than paying someone to cut your grass, you'd pay someone to help you grow crops. It would effectively put your lawn to work, providing you with fruits, herbs and veggies.

Like any good idea, there are lots of problems with this business: how do you deal with scorching temperatures and finicky soil? Would a team of a few employed gardeners be able to cover enough lawns to make it cost effective? Would a front yard garden look attractive enough to replace a cleanly manicured lawn?

Of course, I'm hardly the first to suggest that food should replace lawns (and if this company exists, which I certainly hope is the case, I'm in!). But, when I listen to folks like Pam Warhurst talk, it's easy to imagine that there are solutions to all these problems. Pam's talk is given from a community, not business perspective, but the lessons are definitely there to learn. Most importantly, she emphasizes how much progress can be made with little bureaucracy and relatively small funds.

Definitely inspiring stuff. I expect my business idea will stay in the thought stage, yet I'm delighted to see others making progress on making it a reality.

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