How to Start a Local Food Not Lawns Chapter

by Heather Jo Flores

How to Start a local Food Not Lawns Chapter

by author/founder Heather Jo Flores

There are a few basic requirements for local chapters. First, you have to host an annual seed swap. Second, you need to organize at least 2 garden work parties each year. Third, list your chapter in the directory at, and keep us updated if your URL changes or your chapter goes defunct.

We also ask local chapters to use the logo and to refrain from using the name for for-profit activities such as running a landscape business or selling permaculture courses. That's not what we are about!

As for your basic collective, we strongly encourage you not to have more than three people in your core group. This avoids conflict and keeps things simple. You can include as many community members as you want in larger aspects of the collective, but keep meetings and decisions to the core triad. Trust me on this, it works!

If you're an existing or new local chapter organizer, please join this group:

And now, here's a basic step-by-step to get started with your new local chapter:

Step 1: Start a Meetup or a Facebook GROUP (not a page) called "Food Not Lawns--your location" and create a simple website (through weebly or wix or wordpress or blogger).

Step 2: Organize your first annual seed swap and take lots of pictures. See this article: 

Step 3: Host your first garden work party and take lots of pictures.

Step 4: Post all those great pics on your website and do your best to be inclusive in your community.

Step 5: Once you've worked through the first 4 steps, get in touch with me [email protected] and we'll get you listed in the directory and talk about how to promote, expand, and improve your local chapter.

Good luck! It's easy! You can do it!!