Food Not Lawns House in Santa Cruz

June 26, 2008 at 2:03 pm 9 comments

Food Not Lawns House Santa CruzI finally took a couple shots (with my camera phone, sorry for the quality) of the Food Not Lawns house in Santa Cruz. Over a year ago, maybe two years ago, the front lawn of this house was dug up and replaced with a space for growing food. Well-kept and gorgeous, the crops are always rotating with a mix of veggies and flowers. There is a drip watering system, too. Had I more gumption, I would have stopped by to talk to the residents of the house, but alas, I was hungry and on my way to eat Indian food. Anyway, back when it was first set up, this project was the first I’d heard of or seen of Food Not Lawns and prompted me to go to a session on it at the Eco Farm conference in January. It’s just the inspiration I needed to rip up my own (very small) patch of lawn behind my apartment and plant food there. The book, written by Heather Flores, is full of tips not just for gardening, but all kinds of permaculture projects. A friend of mine used the instructions in the book to set up a water system that takes gray water from the house and cycles it though the yard.

Food Not Lawns Crop in Santa CruzIf you are in the area, the house is on the corner of Mission and Laurel streets on the Westside. Check it out. Props to these folks! Do you have your own Food Not Lawns story? Please share!


Entry filed under: DIY, Home Garden, Santa Cruz, Sustainability. Tags: , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nina  |  January 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    That house was my first introduction to Food Not Lawns, too. Since then I’ve been to the website, bought the book, and have a container garden taking over my patio and stairwell!

    • 2. amandamaria  |  March 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

      @Nina Cool! I went a little nuts, too! It’s such a great concept and re-emerging, I think, more and more to mainstream culture, for example, the new White House garden!

  • 3. Barbara H. J. Gordon  |  March 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Hi:I am a neighbor., I live on Scenic Stret in Santa Cruz. I’d love to talk with someone about your project, ALSO, I’m giving a talk on Urban Agriculture to local Master Gardeners in april. Could I get a speaker from your organization to participate in a small panel discussion of Urban AG at that meetiging?
    Please get back to me,

    • 4. amandamaria  |  March 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Barbara,
      I would recommend getting in touch with someone more connected to concept. Heather Flores (mentioned in the post) might be a good place to start. Off the site, I found that she is managing the new Food Not Lawns International Hub of Operations at
      Good luck!

  • 5. Batya Kagan  |  March 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for doing this article. I have started up a business in Santa Cruz called Your Backyard Bounty with the focus on turning people’s yards (whether there is a lawn there or not) into food production systems.

    If you know of anyone who is wanting this service (I can teach people how as well) feel free to send them my way.

    Everyone who I have made a garden happen for is surprised by how much they love it… that it’s more than just having food easily accessible but it’s a whole adventure in feeling connected to our food and our planet and the amazement at watching things grow.

  • 6. Batya Kagan  |  March 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Hey, also wanted to let everyone know about this wonderful new happening in town called the Grow Food Party Crew that gets a whole party of volunteers to help people get their garden put in all in one day. Check out the youtube video:

    Devin Slavin, a new guy in town, is organizing these. It was a great modern version of a barn raising.

    • 7. Julie Wade  |  June 2, 2009 at 11:05 am

      I’m wondering if anyone could tell me what the local laws are around rental property’s and gardens… my landlord won’t allow me to have a garden cuz he doesn’t want to have to deal with it. I’ve been looking online and can’t find anything about gardens/ landscaping. Is there a way i can get around him and do it anyway?

  • 8. Adam Sanders  |  June 23, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Hi there –

    I am a new home owner in Hollister, CA (after spending my adult life living in rooms, garages, soloriums, and shacks) – I am interested in getting some help changing the front and back lawn to a vegitable garden – a couple of years ago I spoke with you guys about community service opportunities and someone said you come out and help give people a jump start – do you still do that?

    I also wanted to let you know that here is Hollister is an older Mexican gentleman who is well known – he has a very large city lot, and works about four hours a day in his backyard garden – it is literally overflowing with produce – from fruit trees to corn to mixed greens to strawberries – people come from the neighborhood to buy from him, and he often gives produce away – I don’t know how he does it but that little space produces truckloads – you may want to meet him sometime.

    Let me know if you can help please!

  • 9. Suzanne T  |  December 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I love that house! It motivates me to plant in containers until I have a yard with dirt…until then…where do you go for Indian food in Santa Cruz?


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