Start a Foodscape Revolution This Fall!

Originally appeared at National Gardening Bureau

This fall get inspired to start a foodscape revolution of your own! The idea is simple, just plant a few of your favorite veggies right in your landscape. Fill up the open space and cultivate FOOD! While you are at it, inspire your neighbors to do the same and suddenly this simple idea can transform your community!  Excited to know more?

Here is what we did this year…


In mid-March, when the school first closed, my awesome garden helpers, Aidan (13) and Abby (10) suggested we start installing gardens at our neighbor’s homes. With time on our hands and knowledge in our brains, we set out to show people in our community exactly how to grow food, right in their landscapes.

Choosing the right location is key. Focus on full sun areas in existing landscapes with easy access to water. This will ensure the crops will thrive and it will be easy to manage and harvest. This way you can make the most of the resources you devote to the space and have some fresh food to bring into your kitchen.

Our initial March plantings included cool-season veggies like broccoli and cauliflower along with cover crops of crimson clover to fix nitrogen and buckwheat to attract beneficial insects. All of these are ideal for fall plantings as well.

Growing Cabbage and Swiss Chard in your landscape - National Garden Bureau
Growing Kale in your Landscape - Foodscape - National Garden Bureau
Start a Foodscape Revolution Neighbor - National Garden Bureau

What to Plant in a Fall Foodscape – Hint: Grow What You Love to Eat!

My first recommendation is to make a list of what you like to eat. My approach is simple- focus on 5 veggies, grow them in a meaningful way, and change a habit at the grocery store.  This ensures that I really USE the food I grow and have plenty to share with neighbors and the local food pantry.  My top five fall veggies: Arugula, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Garlic.

Don’t know which varieties to start with? There are so many amazing AAS winners, which are trialed and tested throughout North America,  to choose from when planning your fall foodscape.

Best Veggies for Fall (in alphabetical order): Arugula, Cabbage, Cilantro, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Pak Choi, Parsley, Pea, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Turnips.

Life Lessons and Time Well Spent

Overall designing, building, and helping maintain the neighborhood foodscapes has not taken a lot of time.  We spent about 2 hours installing each one. This includes time talking with the homeowners to understand what they want to grow and harvest – all with social distancing of course. We spend about an hour a month maintaining each space and advising when and what to harvest.

This has been a great opportunity to get to know the people we live near and we have established wonderful relationships as a result.  The recipe exchanges are my favorite part of this project!

With Aidan and Abby leading the way, it really shows that people of any age can make a difference.  And, since they are bonified foodscaping experts, with 5 years of experience already, they take the lead and ask the homeowners what their favorite veggies are. They also help guide the process for deciding what should get planted where, when, and why. It is cool to watch them teach adults!
Start a Foodscape Revolution Neighbor - National Garden Bureau
Start a Foodscape Revolution Neighbor - National Garden Bureau
Start a Foodscape Revolution Neighbor - National Garden Bureau

The Future is Foodscaping

This simple idea really can be revolutionary! Foodscaping is a way to make gardening simpler. The results are awesome, with stellar harvests right from the landscape throughout our neighborhood. It has been an incredible way to create meaningful relationships with the people we live nearest to. It’s also an ideal way to stay active and engaged.

It is my greatest hope that we will inspire others to start a foodscape revolution of your own!

Written by Brie Arthur
Author of: The Foodscape Revolution

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