Aug. 7 column: Front yard vegetable gardens

Kathleen Callum, front yard vegetable gardens

Do you ever get tired of the amount of water and time it takes to maintain your lawn? Consider growing a vegetable garden there instead! Front yard vegetable gardens are the topic of my garden column in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review. Here’s a link to it: Forget lush lawns — fruits and veggies are this gardener’s growing passion.

For this column, I had the pleasure of interviewing Master Gardener/Composter/Recycler Kathleen Callum. She and her husband, Robert Sloma, removed most of their front lawn and planted all sorts of veggies and fruits instead. It looks cool and helps feed their family. They are also the volunteer managers of the Fairview & Hemlock community garden.

front yard vegetable gardens

Kathleen set up the simple display for me on the left, showing some of the different ways they preserve their harvest. Those include jams, canning, lacto-fermentation, and drying.

While researching this story, as well as watching Kathleen’s presentation on this topic, I was disgusted to learn that the amount of area U.S. lawns take up is nearly as much as is in production for growing wheat in this country. When you think about how we can’t even EAT our lawns, it just doesn’t make sense.

I would love to see a movement take place, where folks grow edible plants in place of lawns and become more self-sufficient in producing healthy, organic food to feed their families. Doesn’t that make sense?

If you are intrigued by this topic, or curious about just how many resources our lawns take up, please come to Kathleen’s presentation, “Food Not Lawns?”, at the Spokane County Extension office on Wed., Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. The presentation costs $10 and you can register for it by going to the Extension’s website. I will be on hand as well, mostly to listen to the comments you have and assist with the program as needed. I’d love to meet you and get an earnest dialog going about front yard vegetable gardens!