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Silent Bahb

I was surprised to find, upon planting some beans and tomatoes in my front yard, that so many people look down their noses at it. Why is it okay to plant non-native, water-sucking species of flowers all over our front yards but the second I plant something USEFUL, I get looked at like the hippie farmer?


Well..it's not all roses ( and carrots) in West Central. I hear that they were offered lots of "lots" to grow things on but nobody took advantage of the offering. It's very unusual for free use of open land to be offered.....at least where I live. Community gardens have lots of upside and really not much negative. Not much to getting seeds and letting nature do its work. It's an easy way to help hungry people who don't/can't fend for themselves


Don't let those looks bother you Bahb. You are right on the mark. Your garden is a much more sustainable activity than growing grass or flowers. You may be labled as a hippie farmer - but is that so bad? Actually you are a more enlightend individual. You can always sneak in a flower or two to appease the masses..


I think there is a lot of stigma against "obvious" sustenance farming in the developed world. Even more here in Germany, where people don't have the association to Victory Gardens - they remember the bad old days of the '50's, when people were left homeless by the war and forced to farm in urban areas for survival. Today, growing your own food is a sign of unsophistication and poverty.

My guess is that most of the aesthetic critiques of food gardens are tied to that notion of productive gardens as a sign of poverty. Take a look at some of the urban farming concepts out there - you can definitely get creative and make a beautiful, edible garden! It doesn't have to consist of dirt and dead stalks in the off season. And many food plants have a unique beauty too. For example, strawberries and blackberries have great fall color, and beanstalks have elegant white blooms in the spring.

(To be honest, though, I just have a jones for homegrown veggies that has nothing to do with recession home economics or aesthetics. It's all about the taste of summer...)

Silent Bahb

Amen to that, Kate. In a part of the country where I just can't seem to find a really good tomato (or how about one that at least SMELLS like a tomato?) I can't wait to harvest my own.


I've found that growing edibles in my planting stip first invites odd looks and comments from neighbors, but as summer progresses and I can hand out vegetables and herbs as folks pass by while I'm gardening or harvesting, it eventually becomes a relationship-building activity with all the neighbors that are out and about. It's hard to avoid people when they're working right by the sidewalk & street.

And, despite what many people first think when they see it, I've never had anyone steal my produce, or at least not enough to make a dent!

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