What is a Food Yard?
A Food Yard is a lawn converted into a food-producing yard where crops are grown in-ground. They are home to a wide variety of veggies, including an assortment of greens, familiar root vegetables and many more exotic herbs that grow native to South Florida. Whether it’s a residential or commercial yard, where there is grass, sun and water there is a future Food Yard!
People are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of local and sustainably grown food, both for our health and for our environment. Although the demand is high, there are often many barriers urban farmers face to grow the best food for you. By building relationships with residents and growing directly in open yard space, your fresh produce becomes as local as the neighborhood you live in!
Although your lawn may be vast and green, your grass is resource intensive, often using high amounts of water and inputting regular amount of synthetic fertilizers which can runoff and pollute our local water sources. Not to mention you can’t eat grass! Creating a Food Yard allows us to use that lawn to make a mini garden ecosystem. You will be excited to see the butterflies and birds that just might find a new home near you.
What are the Benefits?
AS A FOOD YARD HOST
As a Food Yard Host, in exchange for the donation of your yard, you will receive a weekly share of our GROW Local Cooperative, at no cost to you. Green Thumbs for Healthy Bodies is responsible for the maintenance of the plot, but we encourage all our hosts to be as engaged as they wish in the farming process. For those of us with busy lives however you can feel confident knowing that we will be caring for the success of a bountiful Food Yard. Through your partnership, you will be helping bring nutritious foods to our communities.
One of the goals of the Food Yard Initiative is to help create a truly local food supply. By utilizing the momentum of the Yellow Green Farmers Market, we are showing the many attendees, from near and far, what this can look like. Once a month during the season, we are hosting bike tours from the YGFM to the various Food Yards in the area as an opportunity to teach edible gardening skills and get active! Additionally, for those who are interested, there are more long-term ways to volunteer to both learn how to grow food and earn a share of your own produce.
How to Host a Food Yard
Currently our Food Yards are concentrated in the area of Hollywood, FL called Park East. Any land owner (or renter with owner consent) in this area, can donate their yard to Green Thumbs for Healthy Bodies to be a part of this initiative. We are looking to partner with residents with 500+ square feet of available space. After an initial assessment of the space to determine whether there's good sunlight, space & water access*, we will schedule a day for installation. All host are asked to sign a yearly agreement to participate in the program. If you have the space & the desire than contact us for a consultation.
*Access to a well is the best way for us to use water, otherwise we will need to access your home water system.
Not in the area but still interested in having a Food Yard? We'd still love to hear from you! Contact us for more details on how we can help you start your own Food Yard!