I stumbled onto a new favorite blog, The Food Renegade, and in the interest of joining Kristen M's Friday blog carnival I am inspired to write a little more about how we created our edible front yard.
When we moved into our home 11 years ago the front yard was lush with grass. It looked fine, but I quickly came to resent it because the act of mowing the steep hills was more than a little life threatening.
Here's a picture of it from back in the day:
Our back yard is tree-filled and shady and I dreamed for years of transforming the front into an edible garden but felt overwhelmed by the time, cost and energy that such a project would entail. Finally, in the spring of 2007, we had an economic windfall and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it: hire folks to help me plan and create an edible garden.
Fortunately, my child's labor was free but I paid almost $1500 for other labor and materials.
The raised bed is essential because the soil was in very poor condition and required quite a bit of amendment to support the 8 blueberry bushes and strawberry plants. Those plants, along with the other herbs I planted - rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme and marjoram - are now thriving.
Here is a picture of what the garden looks like today:
You can click on the picture for a larger view: off to the left is a large rosemary plant and the rest of the plants in front of the raised bed are mostly flowering plants. The bottom row has the blueberry bushes and strawberry plants.
Here is a close-up picture of a blueberry bush with sweet little buds:
And here is a close-up of the raised bed garden.
This is what it looked like last year in early summer:
We get loads of tomatoes and cucumbers by training them up the trellises. And we get glorious greens from the rest of the available plot:
Here my son proudly displayed a lovely cucumber before it was unceremoniously plucked off the vine and crunched in his mouth.
We have enjoyed our garden so much. It is definitely worth every bit of effort: I love to look at it year round and the benefits are too many to count. To me the greatest benefit is that my son knows where real food comes from.