The Death of the Lawn

More and more lawns across the country are getting axed and replaced with gardens.
September 20, 2008, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"If grass were a food crop, it would be the largest in the United States. Imagine nearly 50,000 square miles of lawn, about the size of Mississippi, often doused in pesticides, fed with chemical fertilizers, protected by weedkillers, drenched in 270 billion gallons of water a week and cut with mowers that emit as much as a third of some types of urban air pollution."

"Oregon's $500 million grass-seed industry has a huge stake in America's lawns, supplying 99 percent of the nation's ryegrass seed and more than half of all grass seed."

"Since the end of World War II, a perfectly trimmed and watered front lawn has been the homeowner's declaration of civic responsibility. But several factors -- rising food costs, environmental awareness, concerns about food safety and a desire for local food -- have caused the pendulum to swing."

"Many Americans now see lawns as wasted opportunity."

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Published on Monday, September 15, 2008 in The Oregonian
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