Imagine having row upon row of carrots, lettuce and tomatoes in your front yard. This organisation decided to turn homeowners lawns in Florida into rows of fresh local produce.
Fleet Farming are a volunteer-led program that transform under-used lawns into lush edible farms. All of their volunteers ride bikes and go from lawn to lawn to seed and harvest the produce. Homeowners have the opportunity to donate their garden to the organisation. Once approved, they have to sign a two-year agreement and donate approximately $500 to cover start-up costs. In turn, the homeowners get a share of the produce. The rest is sold at local farmers markets. What’s even more amazing is that 100 percent of the sales go back into the organisation and cover the costs of irrigation, composts and seeds.
The edible lawns are known as ‘farmlettes’ and so far more than 300 homeowners in the region have offered up their yards. Co-founder Chris Castro, is running the program alongside his 50-hour a week day job. He hopes to create 200 farmlettes throughout Central Florida by 2020. “The response has been overwhelming,” Castro said. “People are hungry for ways to get engaged and be a part of the movement, moving our cities toward more livable, walkable, sustainable communities. Often times they just don’t know how. This is a small program that can really have a substantial impact.”
Fleet Farming are growing and now have branches in Oakland, California and Kampala, Uganda. They also plan on expanding to more cities, as well as abroad.
Fattima Mahdi is a writer, mentor, lyricist and professional roller-skater. She uses both her love for writing and music to address socio-political issues prevalent in society today. She is also the proud author of Love Don’t Come Easy. Read More stories by Fattima Mahdi