The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Garden Back to Lawn

March 18th, 2012 · 10 Comments · Posted in garden, Sustainability, urban agriculture

Not much room for vegetable gardening here

The developer who bought our house recently e-mailed asking if we’d be available to consult on installing vegetable beds for the prospective condominium owners. Sure, I replied, and I gave him a bunch of suggestions pending a meeting and walk-through at the property.

But shortly thereafter a landscaping crew showed up and in short order the lawn where our huge kitchen garden had once been looked like something from Woodlawn Plantation. You can see the results in the photo above.

What our garden used to look like

As you can see, this is a far cry from the garden we used to have. With the landscape newly sloped–eliminating what used to be a kind of plateau that accommodated eight large beds–its hard to see where in the new configuration anyone might put similarly-sized planter boxes.

Well, I suppose you could construct some much smaller beds. But would anyone want to?

In the world I live in, the conversation has been all about turning lawns into gardens. In other words, not wasting valuable space and toxic fertilizers growing grass when the same area can produce huge quantities of food. During the growing season, we hardly spent any money at all at the grocery store. And we had lots of frozen and canned produce to eat during the winter.

Our former garden encouraged some of our neighbors to plant their own vegetables. But I’m sure a like number are now thrilled to see our shaggy bit of acreage spruced up in the more conventional mode.

In with the new: lots of shrubs and mulch

That has to be good for property values, right?

What do you think?

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  • Pattie

    ugh. But all we can do is plant the seeds, Ed. If the market demands it, it’ll happen. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

  • Bethesda Locavore

    If I lived in your neighborhood I’d feel sad every time I walked past the new lawn. I walk my daughter to school (1 mile) every morning and I think I pass all of one veggie patch on the way. I’m still hopeful that at some point it’ll become incredibly trendy to have all kinds of veggies growing out in plain view in front yards, and that wide expanses of neatly manicured grass will be somewhat frowned upon. I just think it’s not on most people’s radar yet.

  • Ed Bruske

    Pattie, we need someone to invent edible shrubbery.

  • Pattie

    your chard was pretty shrubbery 🙁

  • Mrs Q

    It’s a real shame. That’s not progress at all.

  • C Newman

    I live in the neighborhood and I am sad every time I drive by. It is going in the wrong direction… But I feel like every green thing is in danger in this neighborhood. My neighbor is going to cut down the only big tree in the back of our houses because it is slightly impinging on his roof. Makes me want to slip a copy of The Giving Tree under his door.

  • Jonquil

    I think ‘how boring’, ‘how cookie-cutter common’ & what a waste of resources such a yard is.

  • barbara

    What an abomination! Not only is it unhealthy for soil to be mono-planted with grass — it is unhealthy for the soil. Then I am sure they will use herbicide sprays on the grass and cause further deterioration to the soil and the micro-isms that are living in the soil. This is a shame to treat soil and air so destructively.

  • dana

    Lawns are such a waste and so destructive to our environment. So what do I think of that boring useless lanscaping? I think it sucks!! And it’s ugly. Boooooo!!!!!! I have a neighbor who cut down two gorgeous oaks. HUGE trees. Why? No idea. Can’t wait for him to get his air conditioning bill this summer, without the shade of those two lovely trees. The neighbor next to him cut down a producing apple tree!!! Why? No idea! They never even picked the apples, they let them fall on the ground and rot. It’s like people are getting stupider every year. That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it. Say hi to Lane for me. 🙂

  • Pattie

    wrote about it, Ed:

    Please know always that what you did matters.