Front-Yard Gardens Revisited

One of the Walking Berkeley posts that has generated the most interest and e-mail messages was my post awhile ago about Front-Yard and Parking Strip Gardens. I was surprised that so many people were interested in the topic, but even more intrigued to find that I regularly get visitors to my blog from people searching for terms such as “front yard vegetable gardens” and “growing vegetables in the front yard.” In the time since this previous post, I have also spotted more front-yard vegetable gardens in Berkeley. Perhaps more people are interested in converting their lawns to food than I previously thought.

Back when the E. coli spinach outbreak occurred, spinach was still available at the farmer’s markets here. Many of the farmers had posted large signs next to their spinach explaining that their spinach was grown on a small farm completely unconnected and much different than the industrial spinach that was identified with the outbreak. I wondered at the time if some people also made the decision to finally start growing some of their own vegetables. Interestingly, I spotted this front-yard garden not far from the location of the South Berkeley Farmer’s Market. The greens were young enough where I could not tell for sure what they were, but likely either spinach or chard. In the background are the beginnings of either leeks or onions. This garden is different than most I have seen in the front of houses; usually there are raised beds or some sort of container, but in this yard they have used most of the available space for food. The garden is located on a very busy street, but the fence protects it somewhat from trampling or picking.

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