Remember the story from last year about a Michigan woman who was actually facing jail time for turning her front yard into a food garden? Or the Los Angeles man who had a legal tussle with city government over growing food in the parkway in front of his home? Those cases have been settled, but new ones continue to pop up as individuals decide that they want to get rid of their front lawns, and replace them with gardens.
All the flora that’s fit to print: People are always talking about how print is dead, but things must be looking up for the ink and paper world (Style.com just launched a print version, and Vogue’s sales continue to rise). That, or Wilder Quarterly, a new magazine “for people enthralled by the natural world,” is just a ballsy move. But with photography and layouts as gorgeous as the ones in all the fancy cookbooks I can’t afford, here’s hoping this one’s here to stay.
Green jobs involve installing solar panels, maintaining wind turbines, and weatherizing houses… right? Yes… and no. The technical aspect of renewable energy and efficiency have received the most attention as both the public and private sectors move towards a lower-carbon economy… but that doesn’t mean the job prospects are limited to the techies, engineers, and mechanically inclined. As more locales recognize the natural services provided by urban plants and forests, those skilled in tree care, landscaping, and natural systems maintenance will find demand for their abilities.
While the term “organic” must meet strict guidelines for use with food, other products and services can pretty much use the term indiscriminately. So, if you’re thinking about hiring “green” yard care services this year, you still have to ask a lot of questions and otherwise do your homework.
That’s changing in New York, however: this year, the state is rolling out its Be Green Organic Yards NY program. When fully up and running, the program will provide New Yorkers with a list of businesses that have been approved to display a service mark demonstrating their knowledge of organic practices. To receive the designation, businesses must not only agree to avoid synthetic chemicals, but also take a training course that educates employees in a full range of organic considerations: from chemical-free pest control and fertilization to soil health and structure, proper plant and lawn maintenance, and environmentally-sensitive plant selection. The program also requires continuing education by service providers.
Want to convert your front lawn into a garden or a native plant habitat? You’re likely looking at a lot of work in terms of killing off or digging up sod (we’re assuming you wouldn’t just douse it with herbicide), preparing the soil, and putting in new plants.
Turns out there’s a method that the Lazy Environmentalist would love: meadowing.