If you have been searching the term ‘Foodscaping’ it is likely you have come across the community in Geneva Switzerland who have made a lifestyle from foodscaping. This community set a great example of how we could all do some things a little differently – the way we source our food. So, what is foodscpaing and why do they do it in Geneva Switzerland? We will explore the idea in this article.
What do they do in Geneva?
It is a simple idea (foodscaping), everyone grows food and at harvest the community will trade the vegetables, fruits and herbs they have grown. In some cases one person may only grow one type of fruit or vegetable which they will then trade for other fruit, vegetables or even money. Not only is home grown food cheap, it is also highly nutritious compared to mass grown food. The example of a foodscaping community in Geneva is something we can all aspire to.
Where exactly is this place?
The foodscaping community is based in a town called Jardins familiaux de Bel Essert which is in Geneva Switzerland. It is becoming an urban legend in the sustainable community and it’s easy to see why, their use of land is not only clever but essential to the survival of future communities.
Urban Homestead & Suburban Farm
As you can see here, from the ground Jardins familiaux de Bel Essert looks just like an average suburban town. It is only from the air we can see the wonderful display of greenhouses, vegetable plots, orchards and sheds. It is amazing how much food you can produce in your average suburban garden or yard.
Do you want to start foodscaping?
If you want to get stuck in go to our self sufficiency website here and bookmark it! We have a wealth of hands on articles about foodscaping, just like the community in Geneva Switzerland. Our goal at The Backyard Farmer (the urban homestead blog) is to turn the globe into a foodscaping community and help people eat better as well as help the planet recover.
Why should we start foodscaping?
Growing food has always been good for us as humans. It gets us out into the fresh air and amongst the plants which we know is great for our well being, it can even stave off depression. From a food security & ecological perspective, now more than ever we should all start foodscaping and growing at least some of our own food.
Mass farming is damaging the planet and producing ever less nutritious foods, by growing our own food we can take some pressure off the supply chain. In turn, food grown at home is usually more nutritious too. This is because mass farming leaches the soil of the resources a plant needs to produce healthy fruit or vegetables.
What does ‘foodscape’ mean?
‘Foodscape’ or ‘Foodscaping’ is the process of turning your outdoor yard, space or garden into somewhere you can grow food. Fruits, salads & vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, salads, onions, garlic, carrots can all be grown easily in a small amount of space. There are many different designs you can use to convert your outdoor space into a food growers paradise, inviting in fresh food and wildlife into your home.
Is Foodscaping real?
Yes, foodscaping is a very real hobby and has been around for a long time, it is essentially a relabelling of the term ‘Edible Landscaping’. Foodscaping or Edible Landscaping is the conversion of an outdoor space into one that is used to grow edible plants and food. Another great example of when a foodscaping community flourished is Britain in WW2 where a campaign known as ‘Dig for Victory’ saw the country produce 75% of it’s food from the empty spaces & back yards.
Thanks for reading and we hope you learn something you can use from this article. If you want to give back to us here at backyard-farmer.com, just click on an advert 🙂 Thanks!
How do you make an edible landscape?
It’s easier than it sounds, but if you are new to gardening in general then the best thing to do is start small and build up on thing at a time. The best edible plants to grow for absolute beginners are herbs like basil, chives, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, coriander and parsley. Herbs are usually quite hardy, fast growing plants and can be used in the kitchen quickly. This will get you into the great experience of growing your own food… and eating it!
After adding more and more edible plants to your collection, you will end up with an edible garden!
Why do we have Lawns anyway?
When we look back through history as to why we keep empty green spaces, we find an answer which essentially boils down to wealth and demonstrations of power. The ‘Lawn’ as a common house feature has only been around since the 19th century, before this it was very much a sign of power and wealth to be able to have a well kept lawn or garden. Any ‘common folk’ would have had to use any space to grow food or raise cattle for food or income. The garden lawn had it’s peak during the 16th century when rich land owners would maintain a lawn where they could play sports or host garden parties in geometrically landscaped gardens.
Geneva / Switzerland – Foodscaping
The best and most popular example of modern foodscaping is in Geneva Switzerland where a community grows and exchange food between themselves, this is also still common in parts of the world like Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.