San Francisco, CA – Putting the earth on pause for the pandemic has produced a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, and a chance to reimagine the world. In his new book, Lawns Into Meadows: Growing a regenerative landscape, landscape designer Owen Wormser asks us to consider what could happen if we allowed the resource-guzzling, carbon-spewing greenscape that defines so much of our landscape, to give way to meadows. See book excerpt.
In a world where lawns have wreaked havoc on our natural ecosystems, meadows offer a compelling solution: They establish wildlife and pollinator habitats. They’re low-maintenance and low-cost. Native meadow plants have a built-in resilience that helps them weather climate extremes, and they can draw down and store far more carbon dioxide than any manicured lawn. They’re also beautiful, all year round.
“A meadow is what can happen when you give the earth a chance to heal itself,” says Wormser, who has been growing low-maintenance, sustainable landscapes in New England for more than two decades. He describes how to plant native meadow plants in a yard, community garden, or tired city lot.
Wormser’s interest in growing regenerative scapes started as a child when he lived with his family in northern Maine. His parents modeled their lives after the back-to-land movement and chose to live without electricity or plumbing, and grow their own produce. From them he learned you don’t have to use synthetic chemicals to grow beautiful, healthy plants. Wormser is among the few meadow-builders who relies entirely on organic methods.
Says ecologist and author John Todd: “This wonderful book by Owen Wormser has a humble title, but it is all about a very big idea, namely the conversion of lawns into meadows as a powerful way to help save the lands, protect the waters, and stabilize the climate. The author tells us how to grow a meadow, and become a positive force on behalf of the planet. I highly recommend this book.”
“It’s time to rebuild meadows wherever we can, including the deadscape we call lawn,” says entomologist and best-selling author on regenerative landscapes Douglas Tallamy. “Owen Wormser explains why, and how to do this, with oodles of highly readable, ecologically sound advice.”
Lawns Into Meadows is part of Stone Pier Press’s Citizen Gardening series, which highlights how to grow food and garden in ways that are good for the planet.
Other books include Growing Perennial Foods: Raising resilient herbs, fruits & vegetables, Growing Good Food: A citizen’s guide to backyard carbon farming, and Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing good food without a yard.
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