Back in July I wrote about our plans to change our front yard into vegetable beds for our neighbors. Since then we haven’t done much of anything to the front yard and that gave me a lot of time to think about our plans.
While I really want to share our food with our neighbors I’m realizing that it’s not a very good idea. The first is our dog. She goes pants-on-head-crazy when anyone comes into our fenced front yard so the chances anyone would actually pick food is slim to none. Add on that if someone was brave enough to venture into our front yard she will try, and possibly succeed going through the front window. Not good.
The second issue is the crime rate around here. We recently found out that a friend lives near us – literally a block away. He’s lived there for 10+ years so he knows a lot of dirt about our neighborhood. And he’s told me a lot of stories. I am now pretty uncomfortable inviting people onto our property.
The third issue is safety. People are so sue-happy nowadays I’m not sure I want the responsibility of someone coming onto my property and then suing us because they got injured. I don’t think our insurance agent would much care for that. Not to mention what would happen if our pants-on-head-crazy dog actually got through the window to go after someone. It wouldn’t be pretty.
And let’s not forget the whole urban agriculture situation. Do I really want to be attracting attention of nosy neighbors that don’t like what we’re doing? Do I want those that may take issue with chicken or goat noises to actually figure out that it’s us? Do I want the City knocking on our door to discuss the “unacceptable use” of the front yard to then discover what we have going on in the backyard? No, not really. I’d also like to add the caveat that the City has volunteers that go around and record which houses that have front yards they deem unacceptable so that the City can swing by and visit you and write you a ticket. Yeah. Good times.
So the plans now stand at fruiting shrubs and trees only. We’ll still be producing food but it will be landscaped. The food will be hidden among ornamental plants.
4 thoughts on “The Front Yard”
I have to agree with you. I had the same thoughts of turning my front yard into food production for a little while. But then I decided, with all the stuff I have going on in the back, I really would prefer a low maintance, drought tolerant, attractive front yard.
But that doesn't mean it can't produce a bit here and there. There are actually quite a few edible landscape plants that fit into the drought tolerant catagory. Some examples I've planted are fig, elderberry, huckleberry, current, and rosemary just to name a few. I'm can't find choke cherries, so I'm going to try out cape gooseberries instead. Yes, it will take a couple years for everything to get established. But after than, I'll be home free.
Edible landscaping for the front is the way to go. It's beautiful and productive. And most people won't even realize you're growing food.
Glad you're thinking about your safety. V-jo has about the same reputation as Oaktown. I feel very safe here.
Good to see you Sunday at the Seed Bank. Small world, eh? I was there all day, but I managed to get everything I needed (and then some). Now the real work begins.
There are quite a few edible landscape plants that are drought tolerant, though I wouldn't categorize the native huckleberries as one of them as both the red and evergreen species (Vaccinum parvifolium and V. ovatum respectively) need moderate to regular water.
I also recommend not growing chokecherries so consider it a blessing that you couldn't find them. The birds will wipe you out before you get a chance to pick them. Then they will plant seeds all over your property and you'll constantly be pulling them. Much like my least favorite plant – Ligustrum aka the Privet.
Smart! I've even had the "weems" giving away produce to neighbors. If someone gets "sick" and points a finger at you…the list is endless. I only give to people I know. And when I made Xmas cookies for work I made sure ingredients were known. You can't be too careful.
It's a sad but true commentary on society today! So, enjoy your edible landscaping and give away the surplus to your friends & family. We will appreciate it and promise not to sue, lol.
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