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Fleet Farming Is Transforming Neglected Lawns Into Functional Produce Gardens

We recently heard an incredible story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about Fleet Farming– an organization that is transforming lawns into functional produce gardens. The success of Fleet Farming was somewhat unexpected, even to its founder Chris Castro. Florida is a land that prizes its orderly, uniform lawns– and isn’t the type to give that up. Even urban farms, a staple in many states, have struggled to get a foothold in Florida.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an eager audience.

“I just think that the whole idea of lawns, especially in a place like Florida, is absurd,” Gary Henderson, who donated his garden to Fleet Farming a little over a year ago, told NPR.

Lawns are a notorious environmental threat– they drain water, require a lot of upkeep, and often need heavy pesticides to keep them healthy. Fleet Farming hopes that their model can not only reduce the pollution produced by lawns, but can help build a more sustainable food system too. All of produce grown in the “Fleet Farmlettes” is harvested and transported to local vendors within a five mile radius by volunteers on bikes.

Those who have had their lawns converted are happy with the results. “You know, I would say give it a try,” Henderson advises. “And once you get to the point where you realize that you can eat your lawn, I think it makes a whole lot of sense.”

For more information, check out Fleet Farming‘s website and listen to the full story below.

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