The Snohomish Conservation District is proud to announce the launch of our new Lawns to Lettuce Program! The goals of this latest effort are to encourage landowners to convert a portion of their lawn to growing edibles, and to highlight landowners who’ve already done so. Through the Lawns to Lettuce Program we’ll be promoting practices that build healthy soil, decrease surface water runoff, protect pollinators, minimize pesticide use, and conserve precious water.
Growing food for your family
Many of us like to have some lawn on our property, but there are often opportunities to reduce its size and get something more out of that space. If you’re going to put time and energy into growing something, why not make it something delicious and nutritious to eat? Food grown in your own garden almost always tastes better than what you can find at the grocery store. Plus research shows that the fresher produce is, the more nutrients and vitamins it contains.
Growing your own food is also a great hands-on learning experience for children. While most of us are able to only grow a small portion of the food we eat, having a garden can help us appreciate how long and hard farmers work to grow the crops that feed us all.
Why does it matter?
Lawn care is often resource intensive and can gobble up a large amount of water, fertilizer and anti-weed/pest chemicals. Believe it or not, lawns are THE largest irrigated crop in the United States offering no nutritional gain. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, lawn irrigation accounts for almost half of the water used by homeowners in the United States!
Lawns are also a significant source of water pollution from the runoff of nutrients and toxic chemicals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that homeowners use up to ten times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops!