The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 21, 2013

Edible and environmental

Edible lawnscaping a sustainable, and flavorful, alternative to turf lawns


“Soil erosion is such a big concern, and living next to the river, you see it.”

She said recently reported concerns about the depletion of aquifers we rely on for drinking water also cause her to rethink how we live.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that our green lawn obsession is not only unsustainable, it’s also a bad idea,” she said. “Although grass holds the soil (in place), it’s a waste of water and our resources. We just have to do a more sustainable job of managing our soil and property.”

Norland is a relatively new convert to the idea of edible landscape. She started this year with a small plot by her mailbox, where she grows a tomato, eggplant, Swiss chard and some herbs. She hopes to expand next year, “but I’ll take it one step at a time,” she said.

Her inspiration for the idea hasn’t come from others in the community with edible yards. In fact, except for Church, she doesn’t know of anyone who is doing it locally.

“Not a single soul,” she said, adding that her inspiration comes from her parents, who were stewards of the land. “I grew up on a farm,.”

Norland also extols the virtues of composting.

“You take the remnants, and turn them into soil and fertilizer.” Compost is a soil amendment that both holds water in sandy soils, and loosens heavy soils, allowing water to drain, rather than pond.

For those who say they’d rather look at flowers than vegetable plants, Norland notes that many flowers are edible as well.

“Nasturtiums are very tasty,” she said, with a peppery flavor. Borage plants have blue flowers that taste like cucumber, along with the leaves, and okra is a member of the hibiscus family, with showy blooms.

Norland says a large part of her yard is too shady to support edible landscaping, but there are other ways to avoid mowing. She intends to plant and permit ferns to flourish on the north side of her house.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Allison Williams Will Star as Peter Pan in Live TV Broadcast Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Drew Barrymore's Half-Sister Found Dead Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Ariana Grande's Troubled Relationship With Father Is Beyonce Apartment Hunting Solo? Go Inside The Rumored New Digs EXCLUSIVE! Jesse McCartney is a Geeky Guest Star on 'Young and Hungry'—Watch Now! "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Ripped Ripa! Watch Out Kelly's Got Guns Kate Upton Told to Lose Weight Maksim Chmerkovskiy on his "DWTS" Future Bikini-rific! Hilary Duff Wows in New Music Video Ian Somerhalder Puckers Up for One Lucky Fan "Bachelorette" Runner-Up Drops a Bombshell "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Sexy Celeb Hook-Ups at 2014 Comic-Con "Housewives" Celeb Shares Bikini Photo Album Zayn Malik Gets Death Threats for #FreePalestine Tweet One Direction's Liam Payne Strips off on Instagram