The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
On Sunday the Boston Globe featured an article called “Urban Farming Takes Root” which tells the story of city dwellers who start farming to both improve blighted landscapes and provide food.
Growing vegetables continues to score high in surveys conducted with American gardeners everywhere, and now, even on the front lawn.
A week ago while on a garden tour in Portsmouth,NH I saw an example of a city dweller who made her own property into an urban farm which she calls Sidewalk Farms. Vegetables now grow in rows in what was once the front lawn.
The vegetables on the front lawn area include kale, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, beets, and herbs like garlic and basil.
It is a typical city plot of about one fifth of an acre that now produces enough vegetables and eggs to feed this family of four year-round.
In the back yard stand large colorful plastic containers, many of them also filled with vegetables like tomatoes.
You do see some lawn in the back, and even an above-ground pool for the family.
Back there as well chickens in their pens let you know their presence.
A poly greenhouse in the back yard gives the owners a head start on their vegetables from seed.
It seems like every inch of the property is productive.
That a small house in an ordinary neighborhood now grows vegetables on the front lawn would have been unthinkable even ten years ago. The lawn, inherited from the English romantic garden tradition, has been an integral part of our landscape tradition for over two hundred years.