There’s a recent new trend that has really caught my interest. A number of communities are gaining popularity with the concept of “growing food not lawns”. I absolutely love this concept and think the grassroots approach to promoting gardening is refreshing.

Many of you probably think you don’t have enough space to make an awesome garden. However, that is exactly what these organizations are out to disprove. You don’t need a lot of space to grow a garden. In fact, you can grow gardens in very tiny areas. If you have a lawn, you can grow a garden. If you don’t, you can still use some of the tips to incorporate gardening into your windowsills or through vertical gardening techniques.

How It Started

Heather Flores’ book, “Food Not Lawns, How to Turn your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community,” was a big initiator of the movement. In the book, activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own “paradise gardens.” But Food Not Lawns doesn’t begin and end in the seed bed. This joyful permaculture lifestyle manual inspires readers to apply the principles of the paradise garden–simplicity, resourcefulness, creativity, mindfulness, and community–to all aspects of life.

“Grow Food Not Lawns” Resources

Foodnotlawns.com started in 1999 as a small group of activists, but has grown to a large community across the country. Food Not Lawns chapters are still sprouting up across the country. You can find a full listing of local chapters here. With social media, even if you don’t have a Food Not Lawns chapter in your area you can still gain their knowledge by opening a discussion on one of the local chapters pages.

There are several Food Not Lawns Facebook pages with a wealth of knowledge for all types of gardeners – from apartment dwellers with little space to those with larger lawns.

Getting Started

Starting your own garden doesn’t have to be difficult. From small window herb gardens, to handing tomato and strawberry planting, there are a number of ways you can incorporate gardening even into the tiniest of spaces. The Food Not Lawns movement community can help answer your questions and get you started on your gardening project. Best of all, gardening can add some natural beauty to your setting. I promise the communitie will give you ideas worthy of any Pinterest board.

What is your favorite gardening technique for a small space? Have you tried vertical gardening?