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So much precious, productive agricultural land is wasted these days on the cultivation of lawns and shrubs. Beauty and bounty can thrive together when Azulverde Living designs a multifunctional edible landscape.

Does the edible landscape concept strike a deep chord with you too? People the world over, following the nonsensical American model, cover millions of acres of valuable agricultural land around their homes with maintenance intense and water guzzling lawns, perhaps adorned with some flowers and shrubs and maybe a few trees. Yet most edible plants are beautiful. You as a homeowner could grow a meaningful amount of food in your yard — a much more noble use of the soil, don’t you think?

Instead of the typical landscape, you can minimize lawn areas and put in decorative borders of herbs, lettuce, cauliflower and striking paprika peppers. Instead of the fleeting color of spring azaleas, you can grow various delicious heirloom tomatoes, dwarf citrus trees and other fruit trees. These plants aren’t just pretty, they provide scrumptious produce that can save you money on food and on maintenance. Not to mention that homegrown produce is a lot more nutritious that conventionally grown food; also, you can control the chemicals you apply, or not use any at all. Apart from being a viable design option, an edible landscape (if maintained using organic methods) is the most compelling landscape concept for the future.

Edible landscapes offer incredible benefits:

Energy savings: Food from your yard requires no shipping, little refrigeration, and less energy to plant, spray, and harvest the produce.

Food safety: You can do your own organic farming, preventing toxic chemicals from entering your food and your body. Huge batches of vegetables won’t be combined and therefore can’t contaminate each other.

Water savings: Tests show that most home gardeners use less than half of the water agricultural production needs to produce a crop. Drip irrigation saves even more. And unlike in agriculture, fields aren’t flooded and huge vats of water aren’t needed to cool down the harvest.

Money savings: You can grow an unbelievable amount of food in a small, beautiful space. Watch your grocery bill shrink.

More nutritious food: Fully ripe homegrown fruits and vegetables, if eaten soon after picking, have more vitamins than supermarket produce that was usually picked under-ripe and is days or weeks old when you eat it, not to mention heavily doused in chemicals to give them the appearance of freshness and ripeness. Also, organic gardening will get back minerals into your soils that are sorely missing in commercially used soils that are depleted. Your food will actually have nutritional value again.

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