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.
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.
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.
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!