The days are numbered for a suburban front lawn in Woodbury. Over Memorial Day weekend, a team of volunteers will tear up the turf grass and replace it with a landscape of edible plants.
The lawn belongs to the Schoenherr family: Catherine, John, and their young adult children Aaron and Andrea. They were selected from about 100 families from all over the Twin Cities who vied to be selected for “Edible Estate.” The agrarian project is by artist Fritz Haeg, a Minnesota native now living in Los Angeles, who is doing a residency at the Walker Art Center.
Chez Schoenherr is now “Edible Estate #15,” the last edition of Haeg’s ongoing initiative to replace the traditional suburban front lawn with more productive alternatives.
The Schoenherrs had everything Haeg was seeking, he said in a news release. They live in an outer-ring suburb, their front lawn is large and highly visible, with plenty of sun, and they have gardening skills.
Last summer, the family tended a rented veggie plot, inspired by a college project of Aaron’s. They enjoyed gardening so much that they planned to try straw-bale gardening in their back yard this summer. “Food you grow yourself tastes better,” said Catherine, who has started growing hydroponic lettuce in their basement. “I want more of that in our lives.”
She’s not worried about their front yard looking very different from others in Woodbury, “a place I affectionately call Beigeville,” she noted in her bid to be chosen for Edible Estate. “As a family in suburbia, our front yard will say, ‘Here’s another option to think about.’ ”
(Watch for updates on the Schoenherrs’ yard transformation in future issues of Variety Home + Garden.) □