Popularity of edible landscaping takes root

By Jennifer Justus • THE TENNESSEAN • March 8, 2009

Herbs just might be the new shrubbery. Pear trees and tiny patches of vegetable garden? Coveted like a grand old magnolia.

With spring around the corner, the hot landscaping trend this year might have less to do with manicured lawns and dogwoods and more about plants for the plate. Forgoing a conventional view for an edible one, some Nashvillians would rather pick a pepper from outside their door than off the shelf at Kroger. And by taking matters into their own hands — and yards — they’re growing a positive product from a flimsy economy.

“With every economic report, he’s like ‘plant another row,’ ” said Melanie Campanis of her husband Paul. Although it wasn’t an intentional decision at the outset, the two now eat from their garden year-round and even tap trees for maple syrup. Soon they’ll have bees, and their daughter Sophia looks forward to taking care of chickens.

“First I thought it’d be fun,” said Paul, who also runs a computer network security company while Melanie works as a language translator. But as corn shot up and the garden grew, they recognized additional benefits, such as better health, quality time as a family and an empowering way to cope with the stress of the economy through positive independence.

This is a great idea for our current economy. Grow your own.

NP NowPublic

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