JUL 27, 2015
A mile or so south of downtown Denver’s growing skyline, gardeners toil under the relentless summer sun, pulling weeds and pruning tomato plants that are thriving now that hail season is over and 90-degree-plus days dominate the forecast. Three months ago, the West Washington Park Community Garden was a brown, barren landscape; today, gardeners are harvesting crops from garlic and onions to kale and beets.
Urban gardeners have no shortage of motivation to grow food: access to fresh vegetables, a chance to interact with nature in a concrete jungle, an excuse to spend time outdoors and take in some of the depression-alleviating microbes that live in soil. Now there’s another reason to replace your green lawn with leafy greens: water conservation.
…In drought-stricken California, where some water agencies pay residents thousands of dollars to rip up their lawns, some edible plants—artichokes or passion fruit, for example—can qualify as low-water plants that residents can grow instead of drought-resistant decorative vegetation. Urban Plantations, a San Diego company that designs and installs mini-farms, calculated that replacing a lawn with a fruit and vegetable garden will reduce water use by 66 percent.