PYP 090: Heather Jo Flores on Turning Lawns into Gardens as a Radical Act

heather-jo-floresHeather Jo Flores came of age in an “addicted, abusive, and estranged family” in the slums of Los Angeles in the 1980s.

An unlikely leader of the modern environmental movement (a label that is far too small for Heather, as you'll see), she moved from radical activism to community building to connection making to her current project, replacing most of the world's suburban lawns with thriving gardens and food forests.

Heather co-founded Food Not Lawns and wrote a book of the same name, and has helped hundreds of towns and cities create the kind of community that can exist only through the shared bounty of nature.

In our conversation, we explore while replacing lawns with gardens is the centerpiece of a movement that can literally heal all our human wounds and dysfunctions, be they environmental, political, emotional, physical, or spiritual.

Oh, and we talk about a way you can help, right now, to grow the movement with a few clicks of your mouse.

We cover:

  • Heather's childhood and accidental introduction to environmental activism (you won't believe her other career option!)
  • the progression from Food Not Bombs to Food Not Lawns
  • how lawns were invented, by whom, and for what reason
  • why lawns are such a bad idea
  • the Exxon Valdez that we pour on our grass every year
  • how lawn acreage relates to poverty
  • how lawns contribute to disease, early deaths, miscarriages, and stillbirths among the migrant farmworkers who pick our non-organic produce
  • the compelling vision of “paradise gardening”
  • why we shouldn't emphasis gardening at the expense of community
  • the problem with capitalist models of food production and distribution
  • what our society should be striving for instead of expontential growth and accumulated wealth
  • why growing our own food represents radical and meaningful environmental activism
  • the problem with “Facebook environmentalism”
  • why seed swaps are the benchmark of a healthy community
  • Heather's upcoming (Spring-Summer 2015) national tour and the Kickstarter campaign that will fund it
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Food Not Lawns website

Food Not Lawns Kickstarter Campaign

Food Not Lawns – the book

Gaia's Garden, by Toby Hemenway


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