I started reading this book called The Urban Homestead. It’s the kind of book I should not be allowed to read because I’m a natural born crusader and highly susceptible to do-gooder influences.
I’ll probably be blogging a lot from this book and others like it this summer. It’s interesting. It’s also posed a real challenge for me in claiming that all of the space you have in your urban or suburban yard should be devoted to food production.
My yard is 3/4s of an acre. So far I have 4 4×4 garden beds and three peach trees devoted to food production. I have a ways to go.
But one thing at a time. A term the book uses is edible landscaping. The idea had never occurred to me before, but I like it. I’m not sure why I have crepe myrtles in my front yard instead of fig trees. It just is what it is. Everyone else on the street has crepe myrtles too. The guy who developed the subdivision probably got a good deal on them.
That was all out my control. The caladiums I recently planted along the front of my house were in my control, though. If I’d only thought about it, I could have planted strawberries there instead. Maybe next year.
In actuality, I’d only have to tell the guys who cut my grass to leave the beds alone to have edible landscaping. If they didn’t pull up weeds and weed eat, volunteer blackberry vines would take over. They would be messy but productive.
This is another point the book makes. Nature is messy and wild. Our obsession with overly manicured lawns takes us too far away from nature. It destroys the habitat for the bugs and critters of the variety that are actually helpful to gardening.
I’m not bold enough to be too terribly different, but honestly, what would it hurt to plant some food items in the front yard? A fruit tree, an herb bed, chives as ground cover? Why not?