...And what happens when friendly neighbors share seeds, land, tools, labor and resources?
Fire up the barbecue because we've got more zucchini than we know what to do with!
Using friendship-based community organizing and principles of permaculture, gift economy, and mutual aid, Food Not Lawns has been turning yards into gardens and neighborhoods into communities since 1999, when we were conceived by the Food Not Bombs family in Eugene, Oregon.
We're a friendly lot, down to earth and willing to get dirty. We organize local seed swaps, garden work parties, study groups, and all sorts of grassroots opportunities to make friends while learning more about how growing food in the front yard can improve your home, your community, and your life.
Here's a quick timeline of our history:
1996: Three of us rented a house in Eugene and started cooking for For Not Bombs 5 days a week. Housed and fed the local Earth First! community and did a bunch of forest activism ourselves.
1999: Started our first garden, at a small plot behind a park in Eugene's historic Whitaker neighborhood. Everybody got involved! Over the next several years, we built dozens of gorgeous gardens all over town, hosted weekly study groups, annual seed swaps (still going!) and a free community Permaculture Design Course (got a grant from the City of Eugene for that.)
2001. Launched our first website! It's still up, and tons of fun to look at!
Lots of great articles there that are still relevant. Here are a few:
Avant Gardening for Fun and Nutrition (2000)
Biological Allies for the Urban Guerrilla (2000)
Guild it and They Will Come (2001)
Food Not Lawns! Can You Dig it? (2000)
Water, You Can't Live Without It (2001)
Cities to Gardens (2001)
2006: Founding member Heather Flores wrote and published Food Not Lawns, How to Turn your Yard into a Garden and your Neighborhood into a Community, and from there, new local chapters starting popping up! Since then, Heather has traveled all over the US, helping new chapters get off the ground, hosting local seed swaps, and making tons of great friends!
Now: It's been more than a decade since Food Not Lawns was published, and our movement has evolved into a thriving network, both online and on the ground.