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Food in the Front Yard

This year we achieved a small victory over the pervasive front lawn with a small patch of squash. While a small gesture towards sustainability, we have a lot of walkers along our street, and almost everyone who takes this route looks to see how big the squash are getting, (hopefully not to decide when to pick it for their own purposes!)

We will definitely expand this garden for next year, we’re thinking corn and amaranth around our young maple tree.

Here’s some thought that matches our philosophy – why have lawn just to cover the dirt?

Is it time to kill your lawn? – Oregon Environment News, Photos & Videos ­ OregonLive.com

His front yard brims with a variety of salad greens, onions, leeks, brussels sprouts, basil, carrots, tomatoes, beans, beets, shelling peas and berry patches. The parking strip along the side of the house is filled with squash. Scrivner also planted 13 fruit trees in addition to the cherry tree already there when they moved in three years ago.

“My wife is kind of traditional, so she was kind of worried about how it might look on the public edge,” says Scrivner, a landscape designer who does mostly civic and commercial work.

But the neighbors stop not to complain, but rather to talk and seek gardening advice — as well as load up on fruits and vegetables.

With two young children, the couple chose to develop some play space; plans include a grass strip in front and a patio around the side. But the edible garden remains the star of the show. Scrivner says it’s the age-old discussion about form vs. function.

“I don’t think having a lawn just to cover dirt is a good reason for having a lawn.”

Stumble it! What grows in your front yard?

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Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

5 thoughts on “Food in the Front Yard

  1. We have a huge rock in the front of our house, and it’s covered with moss. No grass will grow on it. Other than that, it’s your typical front lawn, with flowers along the wall of the house, and my little veggie patch along the driveway wall. I have no room for expansion but I’m OK with the space I have.

    What were you photographing at the old golf course entrance on Tuesday?

    Wandering Coyotes last blog post..Recovery

  2. A rock with Moss is better than a lawn – at least it’s interesting!

    I was looking at the extreme erosion that had taken place over the past year. It’s amazing how powerful just some runoff from pavement can be.

  3. You know I have never given any actual thought to turning a front yard into a vegetable garden of sorts. Its always been on the side of a house or in the back somewhere. This is a nice Idea. Thank you for the post.

    Thomass last blog post..The Garden Fork

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