IS YOUR YARD EARNING ITS KEEP?

This is my dream for DC (OK, one of my dreams)–that all front and/or back yards (don’t get me started on commercial building rooftops) become edible gardens so no Washingtonian goes hungry. I walk by all this valuable space–priceless real estate–in the city. Beautiful homes with yards not pulling their weight. Homeowners work long, hard hours with barely enough energy to cut the grass once a week. Even if they pay landscapers to keep them neat and tidy, and some are gorgeous, imagine how much more productive and giving they could be in the expert hands of the staff at Love & Carrots.

I heard of them in a Petes New Haven Style Apizza email newsletter. The co-founders of the popular pizzerias (this vegan loves pizza, too, and they offer Daiya vegan cheese, oodles of healthy veggie toppings, obviously, a gluten-free crust, and refreshing vegan sorbetto), Alicia and Joel Mehr, posted photos of their front and back yard in Northwest DC, boasting twelve raised beds of beautiful organic vegetables and fruit. It was a sight to see and all thanks to the talented folks at Love & Carrots.

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Alicia writes, “We are watching the peas shoot up and the bush beans unfurl. The children are especially excited to pull up multicolored carrots and broccoli florets. We have planted lettuces and spinach in abundance and there is nothing so wonderful as fresh spicy arugula! We are starting to see the 6 different varieties of tomato reaching higher and higher every day and I’m hopeful we’ll be collecting this fruit well into November like we did last year.

In the backyard, the blueberry bushes are showing tiny green berries as the raspberry plants are just getting themselves established. Eggplant and pepper plants are booming in some of the 4 raised beds at the back of the property.”

Their neighbors must be green with envy. I’m jealous but in a good way. I just planted four celery roots, you know, the ends of the last four bunches I’ve chopped through, throwing a healthy heap in the Ninja to blend my daily super smoothies. All the celery leaves rising up on rich green organic stalks–it’s so easy. Basil plant, “Marsha II,” continues to thrive from repeated pinches of the most fragrant leaves I’ve smelled in my life (but maybe my nose is biased). Thank goodness for our big picture window with the wide sill. It’s rewarding to grow even a little of my own food in a 498 square foot studio.

For homeowners with grass yards, check out Love & Carrots’ website and get inspired to turn that ho-hum patch of green into an incredible edible garden. Don’t forget to share your bountiful harvest. Just think–no more mowing!

Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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