Pay it Forward

Old picture without shrubs, but you get the idea

We have a big front yard. I may have mentioned that before. Anyways, currently it only has a few plants and is mostly just mulch. I may have mentioned that before too.  I’m just waiting to get notified by the city that we have to landscape it properly. They should be happy that it’s not all waist-high weeds like some of the other places around here.

We were planning on growing edible plants in the front. Mostly shrubs and perennials that are ornamental but also provide food.Yeah, I’m pretty sure I mentioned that before.

But here’s what I haven’t mentioned. When we first moved here we were wary of the neigbhorhood. Afterall, we were going to be living in a bankrupt city with hardly any police force and a high crime rate. We hadn’t met any of the neighbors yet. Most of the yards were pretty much weeds (some were mowed weeds of course), except our next door neighbor who had a wonderful garden. I thought to myself “Yeah, we’ll definitely get along.”

Because of this wariness, I didn’t want to grow anything that was obviously food so as to keep people off of our property. How NIMBY of me. I guess I figured if people had the balls to pick food from our front yard, it would encourage them to go into our backyard. From our backyard into the house. See my train of thought here?

Well it’s been a year and a half since we moved in. Other than the renters across the street, we’ve met almost all of our neighbors. And yes, we get along great with our gardening neighbor. We are always sharing what we have extra with them and in return they put up with our animals. It’s a win-win for all of us. But this got me to thinking, why not grow food specifically FOR our neighbors? Why not also teach them that they can do it too? So that’s how we came up with our new plan for the front yard.

We’re going to be putting in vegetable beds in our front yard for our neighbors. Whatever they don’t eat we’re going to donate to the food bank. So why the change? Do I all of a sudden have this charitable streak? Maybe. But I also think deep down inside I’m addicted to growing food and I want people to learn how to do it as well.

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