We all love a beautiful landscape, and more and more people are seeking out locally grown healthy food. Brie Arthur, author of The Foodscape Revolution is out to teach the world that the two things can go hand-in-hand.
“Imagine the suburban landscape transformed into a source for affordable, sustainable local food,” Arthur said during her presentation at last week’s Mid Atlantic Horticulture Short Course (MAHSC) in Virginia Beach.
Arthur encouraged green industry professionals attending the MAHSC conference to show their customers the connection between horticulture and health and wellness.
“Landscapes can be a little bit static, but eating is for everyone,” she said.
Arthur suggested several edible plants that can fit in well to the ornamental landscapes around people’s homes. Among them are:
- Rice, which looks a lot like an ornamental grass;
- Strawberries, which make a good evergreen groundcover;
- Fruit and nut trees; and
- Garlic, onions and peppers, which can help deter pests.
Nashville Foodscapes, a Tennessee company specializing in foodscape design and implementation points out on its website:
- Food grown in your home landscape offers variety as compared to food selected for a long shelf life to survive the often long trip from farm-to-table;
- Foodscaping can reduce mowing area in turn reducing labor and pollution; and
- It builds community as it becomes a conversation piece between you and your neighbors.
Rosalind Creasy, author of the 2010 book Edible Landscapes calls the practice of growing food in a traditional residential landscape setting “the practical integration of food plants within an ornamental or decorative setting.”
“The same design principles as for ornamental landscapes are used, while substituting edible plants such as lettuces, blueberries, vegetables and fruit trees for some of the otherwise unproductive plant material. Using edibles in landscape design can enhance a garden by providing a unique ornamental component with additional health, aesthetic, and economic benefits.”