Just an Idea

Out the front of our house we have our lawn, then a pavement and closest to the road a 2 metre strip of lawn that spans our block and is considered council property.

I was reading Simon’s blog today and the neighbourhood initiatives he was writing about and couldn’t help wondering what would happen if we were to start a veggie patch in the front of our yard rather than the back – and what if we got others in the street to do similar and we allowed people to come and take what they wanted from what was created.

In his excellent book on neighbourhood mission and spirituality (God Next Door), Simon wrote about how we have lost the ‘front porch’ vibe in our streets and how most living is now done at the back and of course the end result is that we finish up living much more separate lives. It prompted me to consider how we design our homes and whether we could create homes that help us ‘live out the front’ a bit more.

Perhaps using that verge area for a veggie garden could be a starting point in redressing the balance and who knows, if it caught on it could change the whole vibe of a street.

Of course it has risks and associated problems, but wouldn’t it be a fund experiment?…

Now, if only I had the smallest interest in gardening I’d give it a go!

6 thoughts on “Just an Idea

  1. Lots of this kind of stuff is already happening in suburbs all over Australia by people wanting to foster community in the local neighbourhood. From a practical perspective for Perth conditions/soil I would look at growing hardy herbs that can be picked and replenish and or citrus trees. (We always used to have our neighbours knocking on our door at our old house for lemons from our backyard tree)

    But Andrew if you choose to grow a lemon tree please fertilise it in a different way than what you would your ‘backyard’ one 🙂

  2. I sit on the front porch every Friday and drink a small beer. People, their dogs and kids often stop to say hello. Sometimes Andy and I, from across the road play dominos. It’s very pleasant.

  3. Hmm, interesting idea. I’ve seen vegie gardens in amongst the plants in a front garden at a few home around here.

    Oh, and if you’re thinking of using the verge, check with your local council to see if they have any requirements. I know one I worked at did.

  4. Whilst waiting for some native trees to take off, I put some potatos and pumpkins around them. Kept the area green, made a bit of a statement, and invited various conversations as dog-walkers and the local Hash House Harriers kept up with the progress of my produce.

    Wasn’t on the front verge per se, but still in the front yard.

    Our neighbour has a brilliant verandah out front where several of us often gather. It’s unusual, but fantastic.

    On the flip side, my neighbours and us are often in each other’s front yards, occasionally in the backyards when some work is required, but rarely inside each other’s houses! (unless they’ve been sneaking in without telling me…)

    Back to the topic – I reckon a front vege garden is a winner, is a bit more interesting than grass, and more edible than roses.

  5. Funny – I’ve just quoted from the same book. We had our first neighbourhood event last Saturday – over 70 rocked up and a heap of apologies comming to the next one. Our area Collingwood Heights has about 250 homes and is well defined, it was a great night.

    I was thinking of handing out Chick Tracts but reckon your vegie patch idea might be a little more non threatening – you think?

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