Lawn Liberation

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Lawn Liberation is one way to help make your home a place of production rather than consumption and uses ideas from the permaculture design principles. This presentation shows how sheet mulching can be used to transform an unproductive lawn into a bountiful fruit and vegetable garden in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Transcript of Lawn Liberation

  • 1.Lawn Liberation one way to help make your home a place of production rather than consumption Some ideas inspired by permaculture design shared by Vanessa Witt

2. Why liberate your lawn? 3. Grass lawns take considerable time and energy to maintain what do they give us in return? Access ways Recreation areas Aesthetic value How much lawn do we need to meet these needs? Could some areas be used to obtain a more valuable yield for us, e.g. food? 4. Soil, water flows, energy flows and people flows were all observed and considered in the design.The front lawn before liberation. 5. In the beginning Trial patch of sheet-mulchingNew fence kept low enough for people to interact. 6. Water is caught in sunken paths (swales) and stored in the soil. Rainwater is harvested from the roof. Heat is stored in rocks. The sun's energy is being stored in the food.Digging out the paths/swales. 7. Making sure the water flows away from the driveway. 8. We're growing food rather than lawns. We are making new connections with people in our local community.We made sure it was visible! Many people stopped to look and talk about what was happening. 9. The garden is seen as an on-going experiment that is constantly being observed, discussed and adjusted as required.Looking at the soil profile when we start not far down before reaching the hard layer. It will be interesting to compare after a year! 10. Free/inexpensive local resources were used for creating the raised beds e.g. boxes from local shops, barley straw, sheep dags/manure from local farms. Ducks control pests and add fertiliser. And we now use chickens to remove barley seeds and add manure to the straw before using it 11. Yum! Love this barley! 12. A productive food garden reduces human energy and fuel wasted on lawns. Energy is not wasted transporting food over long distances when it is grown at home. Garden surpluses are preserved or shared / swapped with others, fed to animals (goats, chooks, or worms) or composted for return to the garden.Waste paper and cardboard was used for mulching. Friends came to help with the job, and will be able to share future harvests too. 13. The large curving paths were planned first, with smaller paths and stepping stones added later. Placement of larger trees and shrubs within beds was decided before details.The garden is taking shape. Earthworks are done and it is ready for sheet mulching. 14. Mulching in progress. 15. The garden is both functional and attractive. Crushed limestone on paths gives slowrelease calcium and a sturdy surface. Plant needs are supported through companion planting. A low fence encourages people passing by to interact.The fence was kept low along the front edge with the footpath. 16. Everyone was on the job helping. 17. While liberating the whole front lawn may seem like a major undertaking to some, the idea of families growing more of their own food is a small and slow solution to the big global problem of unhealthy, unsafe and unethical industrial food production. Everyone can do it!Showing a group of friends around sharing the ideas. 18. Many types of plants are grown, especially compared to a lawn. Food and habitats are provided to encourage a diversity of insects and animals. Diversity = resilience! 19. Internal paths are designed to maximise edges for ease of access. The food garden also fronts on to a busy footpath, just over the road from a high school. 20. The lawn liberation is part of a creative response to life changes (e.g. retirement) when there is more time available to garden and less money available to buy food. 21. Liberated! 22. And the ducks love it too 23. If you dont want to liberate your whole lawn, just start with the edges 24. The magic of sheet mulching! (Also called no dig or lasagne gardening) Improves and protects existing soil. Builds new soil. Reduces weeding. Reduces watering. Recycles waste products. Grows great vegetables. Makes you feel great! 25. How I like to mulch it I prefer to build up the sheet mulching using many thin layers. Alternate green (nitrogen rich) and brown (carbon rich) layers. Use what you have available, e.g. waste paper/cardboard, lawn clippings, leafy weeds, fallen leaves, manure, etc. it shouldnt be expensive. Diversity is good, so use a range of materials if possible. 26. Lets liberate some lawns!