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Eat Your Yard: Edible Landscapes Transform St. Louis Lawns

When Matt Lebon imagines the future of St. Louis land development, he sees an abundance of food: orchards at schools, wellness gardens on corporate campuses and healing gardens in hospitals.

Lebon is the founder of Custom Foodscaping, St. Louis’s very first design and installation company for transforming underutilized spaces to beautiful food-producing landscapes.

Previously the farm manager of EarthDance Organic Farm School in Ferguson, Lebon is using his farming and landscape design expertise to coach individuals and institutions on how to create and maintain high-yield edible gardens.

His designs allow clients to plant once, then harvest food from their landscapes for decades by utilizing edible perennial plants, shrubs and trees.

“I want to create magical food moments,” he says, “That means creating spaces for people to harvest a salad on their lunch break or pick chestnuts in a school yard. The goal is to reconnect people with nature while creating regenerative food sources.”

Lebon designed an edible outdoor classroom for Principa School – it requires minimal maintenance and will yield decades of abundance utilizing perennial plants.

His installation at Vicia, where world class chefs are out in the foodscape harvesting every day.

He wants St. Louisans to reimagine their grass lawns as spaces for food production while still maintaining the beauty of ornamental landscaping.

“If we’re going to put tons of energy and money into our landscapes shouldn’t we maximize our benefits?” says Lebon. “In a foodscape you can have a beautiful space full of bees and butterflies that bring nature to you and delicious and unique foods that taste better than anything you’ve ever had.”

For more information call 636-236-4068 or email customfoodscaping@gmail.com.

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