Mountview resident Martin Scholz knows a thing or two about turning a lawn into lunch and a yard into yummies.
Scholz, a local permaculture educator and sustainability co-ordinator for Action International Ministries, recently gave his yard an edible makeover to represent what he has been teaching for many years locally and around the world.
“The goal is to bring agriculture back into the urban setting,” said Scholz.
“In Red Deer the average yard could produce about 1,000 lbs of food a year if we just got a little more creative.”
Scholz answered questions about edible landscaping and delivered a presentation to young students as part of Garden Days at Parkland Garden Centre last weekend.
Edible landscaping is a food production approach where typical lawn ornaments and grass are replaced with edible plants.
In Scholz’s front yard, there’s corn, squash, pumpkins, onions, zucchini, pears, apricot plum trees, cherry trees, raspberry, blueberries, strawberries and other goodies growing.
Two greenhouses on his property boasts hundreds of different plants and herbs as well as tomatoes and cucumbers.
“Why are we growing so much of that we take care of,” said Scholz, referring to typical lawns. “Why don’t we plant things that can take care of us as well?”
Last year Scholz re-designed his front yard to do something for the land. He said if you get the land to where it is happy then anything can grow.
Scholz, a ReThink Red Deer board member, said having grass does have some benefits like keeping dust away but there are all kinds of other benefits when you turn your yard into a garden.
He said his edible has helped his family grow closer and connect with his neighbours. Some have even been inspired to try something on their own.
“The bug is slowly catching,” he said. “People are realizing that instead of working so hard for nothing which is you take care of your lawn and you throw it away. You can replace the lawn with stuff that gives back.”
Scholz said the idea is to become more sustainable which means needing to go outside your property less and less. He said residents have become more interested in food production from the home.
Scholz does not have an accurate yield count for his produce but he hoping to work out a figure to let residents know what they can expect fromt heir yards. His small apple tree has produced enough apples to make about 100 lbs of apple sauce annually.
Contact Scholz at 403-396-7647 if you have any questions on sustainability and setting up an edible landscape.