Thursday, July 26, 2012

An inspired idea unites a community !



One of the nicest things about my recent visit North was reconnecting with my nephew Chris. He’s an amazing young man and when he told me about his “front yard garden” I just had to share it with you.

He made the unorthodox decision to plant his garden in FRONT of his house because it received the best light for growing and the area needed a makeover anyway. Little did he dream that the project would stimulate so much interest and positive feedback in his neighborhood.

As Chris mapped out and then planted his garden he realized that he was being closely watched. People that had never spoken before stopped and expressed their interest. Young parents brought their children to peek in the greenhouse and to ask Chris what he was planting and when it would be ready to be picked.

He believes that he’s met at least 30 or more people who live within 4 blocks … all of them “neighbors” that he would never have known otherwise. A few of them have even become close friends.

In Chris’ words: “It has turned out that the production of food (which was the initial intent) has taken a back seat to all the other things this garden has done: community building, bringing neighbors together, a teaching tool etc. I still get a lot of food for myself, neighbors and the food bank, but it’s almost incidental. Finally, this year I planted a special bed of golden cherry tomatoes for people walking by. They are just about ripe. It will be fun to see how people react to that.”

Chris lives on the West Coast and that’s over 3,000 miles from me so I doubt if I will ever see his project first hand, but just knowing it is a reality has brightened my life. Imagine how many other lives could be enhanced if more people followed his example !

14 Comments:

Blogger Diana said...

Wonderful story Ginnie. It reminds me of the days when everyone sat on their front porches in the summer and neighbors actually talked to each other! Now it seems everyone just hides inside.
I love the front yard garden idea!
Love Di ♥

4:39 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Gardens and music are the universal language. Get your hands into the Earth and reap the wonderful benefits and fruits of labor... how magnificent is that idea!

5:49 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That is so cool. It wouldn't work everywhere, but it seems to be perfect where he is.

8:05 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Yes, it IS wonderful and I bet he is really happy that he made that decision.

And Diana, I grew up in houses with front porches and I really wish I had one now!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

I turned my front yard into a vegetable garden soon after we moved into our current home in 1982.
Neighbors would stop by and talk to me over the garden fence. I think is is silly to waste all that ground on grass, but in my old age, the front garden has once again become grass. The trees next door which tower at almost 60 feet did not help, as veggies love the sun.

Interestingly, several of my younger neighbors have followed suit and turned their small urban front yards into gardens. Its a wonderful thing to see.

Chickens would be a nice addition to any garden, but I am past the chicken phase, unfortunately. My SIL has chickens and lets them run in his vegetable garden, but then he has 17 acres surrounded by a bison farm. Kudos to your cousin.

1:27 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Ginnie, this is wonderful!
At first I thought that it would be "one of those things" that makes me madder than a wet hen..you know..you have to have a lawn, sprayed and green, and God forbid, you should have a clothesline.
Your nephew is a very special person, but I know that you are well aware of that.
Happy weekend, dear friend.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your nephew, Chris, had a great idea but unfortunately in some places his front yard garden would not be allowed. So glad to "see" that his received such a positive reception and not only provided food but encouraged people to talk and meet.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well matt if you are still in need of them this is there site
and some info , they have a deal on at the mo , mention m netsims said you would sort him out

10:19 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Community gardens are great. And they do bring people together. Kudos to Chris!

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Gabbygeezer said...

What a terrific idea. Unfortunately, where we live the Homeowners Association would nix the greenhouse, although gardening without a structure is OK. We've been talking about establishing a raised garden area at the side of our place. Your son's work should help inspire us to get on with it.

7:00 AM  
Blogger possum said...

What a great idea! If I can find some empty space out front next year, I might just do that. BUT, my neighbors are not "next door" and there are no sidewalks, so I guess it would not have the same effect, would it.
Love that pic in the swing! Didn't realize you were such a swinger! LOL!

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:17 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

That is great, Ginnie. Your son is inspirational!

5:28 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Just re-found my link to your blog. The Southern Calif. community where I live is strongly encouraging people to convert their yards from grass to low water use plants and/or gardens. I've gotten as far as eliminating grass in my parkway, replaced with bark so far. Hope to do more in the future.

4:37 PM  

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