Archive | 4:30 pm

Is grass overrated?

21 Jul

I’ve been reading Fritz Haeg’s wonderful book Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn.

I originally saw Fritz on a Martha Stewart re-run and found his ideas revolutionary. His transformations of ordinary, boring suburban front yards into productive (and importantly attractive) spaces was eye-opening to me.

I’m sure you’ve seen the front yard veggie garden of the Nonno up the street or 3 doors down from your brother – don’t we all have one? The Italians realised long ago that productive gardens could be beautiful. Now I’m looking for that long lost Mediterranean branch in my family tree, but drawing a blank. My friend Michele has grandparents who bottle their own passata and make their own salami – I wanna be Italian!

I can’t change my gene pool, but I can change my landscaping.

I’ve witnessed the reaction of my own neighbourhood when I pulled out the roses and replaced them with vegetables. I had a few negative comments, but the many positive ones far outweighed the doubters. I’ve had so many conversations with passing people over the past few months that I never would have imagined. People don’t just walk past anymore – they stop and look, comment and ask questions. I’ve had people drive past and stop, and even some who have made a special trip to see.

Now don’t get me wrong – My garden isn’t that amazing. I think it’s just the concept that people are intrigued by. In my area (with small land sizes), growing food just isn’t that popular, and those who do hide it away from everyone else in their back yards.

Our front yard

So after several months of front yard veggie gardening, I’m longing for more space. My eye is drawn to the front lawn, and I wonder if the neighbourhood and I are ready for the next step. I’ve been considering the layout and the price of materials (quite significant), so need to take it slow.

But I’ve mentally committed. My food forest is going to happen.