Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Food In Front

It all started out innocent enough. A simple gardening book from the library. Who knew it could ruin my reputation and send the neighbors into a tizzy. It began with Gaia's Garden, that led to Edible Estates, then Food not Lawns. By this time I was truly lost. No turning back, ruined and cast from normal society forever. I began making plans, they led to this.

Cardboard, bamboo stakes, pink string, flag stone, and piles of horse manure. Ahhh, good times.
This is how it looks right now. Its about half planted out.

A little path to encourage passersby to come in and take a stroll, into my evil garden TRAP!!!!

You may think that everyone is sooo excited to have this in their neighborhood. WRONG.
Inevitably someone is upset with me about my front yard Garden or yarden. I was out watering when she walked over. She lives two houses down from me, and was out mowing, weeding, and edging her lovely lawn. A little old lady that has never so much as said hi to me in the two and a half years we have been neighbors.

I can't remember the conversation exactly so I won't recreate it. These are some of the things she said to me.

Maybe you should move somewhere in the country where this wouldn't bother anybody.
What you did in the backyard was bad enough but in the front.
Why would you do this.
No one on this whole block will ever be able to sell their homes.
You have destroyed our property values.
I'm really really upset about this.
I've lived here for forty years and this is the worst thing I have EVER seen.

My response:


I'm sorry you feel that way.
But if a house doesn't sell it won't be my fault.
Maybe I should live in the country but I don't. I live here.
I'm not going to undo this.
I want to have food for my family.
I can see your really upset about this but I don't think its as bad as you think it is.
I hope we can still be kind to each other as neighbors and decent people. (She walked away without a word after this)

My husband Nate and his friend Pete wanted to go beat her up. lol. Defend my gardening honor.

Pete was funny. He said, "Whats her problem, drug dealers don't garden, lazy jerks don't garden, criminals don't garden."

I'm remembering some things about our neighborhood. We have had seven break ins over the past little while, a woman got assaulted by somone on our street. Years ago the police had a shoot out, and swat teammed a house down the street that was dealing drugs. BUT my garden is the WORST THING she has EVER seen. I don't suppose she will want to sit down, get to know me, and learn why I'm doing this. lol

I feel sorry for her. Her worries are unfounded, and unrealistic, but they will cause her pain. I'm sorry about that. I wish I could ease her concerns.

That was my very first confrontation with someone and it was uncomfortable but I was pleased with how I held it together, remained calm, and stayed polite. I'm not looking forward to doing it again but I think I could if necessary.


  1. Way to go! It will be fun to see the end result. Keep posting updates!

  2. Way to go, Kami! Don't let them get you down. You are thinking outside the box and it's awesome. I'm willing to bet you'll see more and more people doing this as time goes on.

  3. There are more appealing ways to do this without firing up the neighbors. Jsut do a Google search shows a lot of nicely designed spaces.

  4. Ouch! lol. I guess my definition of beauty truly isn't for everyone. I really am not trying to fire up the neighbors. I'm just trying to use the land I have stewardship over in a responsible and useful way. I actually think that my front yard IS pretty. But I have a long history of showing bad taste. You should see the way I dress. lol. Thanks for stopping by and having a look.

  5. OMG! What a crazy story! Having lived without neighbours or front yards for eight years its hard to imagine how I would deal with such an attack. I think you did an amazing job and hopefully gave her something to go home and think about. I'm sure it wont be too far in the future before we vegetable growers are the norm rather than the exception. I say well done, it looks really beautiful! You are an inspiration.

  6. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think boring lawns and benign rose bushes are beyond boring. Your new front yard looks lovely and will be even nicer once everything grows. I get similar reactions during the "off season." Once the tomatoes and pumpkins are in, though, everyone is all smiles and jealousy.