Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Edible Landscaping

Colorful Swiss Chard and Kale arranged with trailing thyme and oregano herb plants make for a vibrant alternative to traditional landscapes planted.  Ornamental landscapes are pleasing to the senses yet there can be more to a pleasing landscape - harvesting for a fresh, healthy meal.

Edible landscapes combine fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers into a design that is aesthetically beautiful.  Loyola students understand the value of a landscape with edible flora and in 2010 created the foundation of a campus plan to include edible plants on campus.  Putting together a plan involved students from the STEP: Food Systems course collaborating with the Growers' Guild and the Facilities Management team.  Today edible landscaping on campus includes native vegetation and an established campus orchard nursery for the saplings.

Students mapped the edible landscape of the Lake Shore Campus to educate the Loyola community about the possibility of growing food anywhere and everywhere. As part of the STEP: Food Systems course project, the aim was to bring the concept of food closer to home, localizing and personalizing food for an urban population.