The government agencies that are pro urban farming claim that replacing yards with gardens where people will grow vegetables will be a powerful weapon against the ongoing drought. Besides that, they will have food growing behind their house, so it’s a win-win situation.
Luckily, this suggestion has been considered and taken gladly, as urban gardeners are motivated to start their own vegetable gardens, as that will lead to always having fresh produce, spending more time in nature instead of sitting inside the house for the hole day, and of course – preserving water that is in short supplies these days.
You are probably thinking how can we save more water by turning green grass lawns into vegetable gardens?
Well, believe it or not, as gardening water experts explain, vegetable gardens need almost half the amount of water than the green grass yards need. Even schools have started making vegetable gardens in order to save water, and on the plus side – the children are learning how to farm.
Denver seems to be the city that is holding onto this idea the strongest, but as things started developing, soon many areas that are prone to drought will realize that this is actually a great way to conserve water.
California has been dealing with a drought for quite some time now, and water agencies have been trying to get the local residents to give up on their green lawns by offering them thousands of dollars. However, some fruits and vegetables can be planted painlessly as they don’t need lots of water to grow, and they produce food that is good and healthy to eat.
According to Urban Plantations’ (a company from San Diego) calculations, water use can be reduced by up to 66% if we plant a fruit and vegetable garden instead of a green grass lawn. Besides saving water, this also increases the production of food and improves businesses. Moreover, it is definitely nicer to have a vegetable and fruit garden than ending up with a desertscape. This is, at least, useful and can look as pretty as a grass lawn.
In 2010, Denver Urban Gardens, a nonprofit group that deals with community gardens throughout the city, came to realize that community gardens used half the amount of water a green grass lawn needs (in this case the lawn used as an example was Kentucky bluegrass). They also discovered that there are plenty drought-resistant plants which use a lot less water during their growth process. The amount of water these plants can spend is between zero and four gallons per square foot, as Jessica Romer, the director of horticulture at the abovementioned group claims.
Growing such plants will put food on the table, while at the same time decrease the water bills. So, one private garden can help a family, as well as the entire community, by saving water and producing food.
Aurora Water, the agency dealing with conserving water in the city of Aurora (near Denver) is also trying to convince its residents to start converting their lawns into vegetable gardens and start engaging in urban farming. This certainly isn’t something that all households will accept openhanded, but as long as the majority agrees to become active in this matter, the drought problems will become much easier to deal with, and the city will see an improvement when it comes to the financial status of its residents, as far as water consumption and food production are concerned.
One small garden can save around 3,500 gallons of water each year, which is a good amount to save, especially considering the drought.