University Edible Landscaping
Edible landscaping is the conversion of land spaces, especially marginal land spaces such as flowerbeds along a sidewalk, into working spaces growing food producing plant otherwise known as edible plants. This can be achieved through exercising techniques of permaculture where plants are selected to grow with complementary plants while respecting the immediate local environmental conditions. Using topiary and ornamental design with these edible plants also offers the opportunity to convert the otherwise ornamental botanic gardens into productive working spaces. That is, an edible landscape can use techniques of permaculture, which selects plants to grow with complementary plants while respecting the immediate local environmental conditions. Topiary and ornamental designs convert edible plants into ornamental botanic shapes that combine the concept of a botanical garden and food-productive working spaces.
Edible landscaping is not a new idea; edible landscaping dates back well over two thousand years to the hanging gardens of Babylon. The Garden of Eden is also a biblical example. Edible landscaping was also an underlying principle to medieval monastic gardens.
Australian naturist, Bill Mollison created a renewed interest in edible landscaping in the 1970's, through his concept of permaculture. Permaculture is a landscape design technique designed to form harmonious balances between input and outputs.
Universities as a center of higher learning have an obligatory role in the community to research and introduce edible landscapes.
These edible landscapes are a matter of social justice The majority of food in this country travels 1500 miles to reach a consumer’s plate. The fossil fuels necessary to transport produce this absurd distance creates a massive carbon footprint that contributes to global warming. Additionally, this food is oftentimes grown with hazardous pesticides and herbicides, affecting the health of the farm workers. Edible landscapes can demonstrates that there are alternatives to industrial agriculture. The landscape will spur discussion of current farming practices and sustainable agricultural practices while providing students with food that is grown for the nourishment of body and spirit.
Key benefits of an edible landscape in university
- Edible landscapes can serve as a living landscape for academic exercises
- Edible landscaping is a mater of social justice to allow access of nutritious food to all people.
- Positive mental health.
List of Universities participating in edible landscaping projects.
- Loyola University Chicago - Project Eden