Written by Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Coordinator

Their Food Story: The Sustainable Backyard Tour is an annual event demonstrating how St. Louis-area residents can utilize their yards in more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to provide food for their families, wildlife habitat, relaxation and visual appeal, all while minimizing impact on the earth and the communities in which they live. A free, self-guided, open-house-style tour of private residential yards and gardens throughout St. Louis City and County, the tour showcases a range of green living practices, including composting, organic gardening, beekeeping, pollinator gardening, mushrooms, growing fruit & nuts, as well as rainwater conservation, pesticide and herbicide reduction, and much more.Over the past five years, more than 150 individual hosts have opened their yards to an estimated 5,000-some people to share a vision of healthy yards, gardens, and food, sharing their knowledge of seeds, soil, water and the many inputs that result in food output, making for  a fun afternoon of rethinking agriculture on a human scale.

A Person Behind the Project: Terry Winkelmann founded the SBYT in 2011 as a way to encourage and empower individuals and families to think about the connection between good food and a healthy planet. She is also on the board of Slow Food St. Louis, an organization promoting good, clean, fair food through eater education, chef interaction, and the support of biodiversity in farms and backyard gardens. Slow Food St. Louis serves as fiscal agent for the Sustainable Backyard Tour.

Organizational Website: Sustainable Backyard Tour