Saturday, March 16, 2013

Front Yard Gardening... What We're Planning this Summer

(Photo from Front Yard Farmer website.)

Front yard gardening has created quite a buzz and a stir in recent years. Some neighborhoods and communities have tried to stop homeowners from cultivating well maintained vegetable plants and berry bushes in their front yards (and sometimes the back yard, too) while nearby grass yards sometimes left to go to weeds and neglect, were considered quite acceptable. Seems rather a silly argument in the day when we are all looking for healthier options for our families.

"Tennessee Home & Farm" (a publication for members of the TN Farm Bureau)  Spring 2013 issue featured front yard garden ideas. You too may visit the featured farmer's website/business. This really captured my attention. I believe you will be seeing a bit of this incorporated in our yard this year. While my herbs thrived quite well in the partial shade of our backyard, veggies didn't fare so well. 

We were offered the option of a stake in a community garden, but we believe we are a bit short in the equipment and time categories to keep that going. From my adventures around websites featuring front yard gardening, a couple ideas have stood out to me as a starting point for our home. So, on to our front yard garden adventure. I've included several links below. As you browse through them, I hope you discover some great options for yourself as well. 

Be looking for some bamboo tepees in our front flower bed.  (Does anyone know where we can find these bamboo poles (8-10 ft) in Memphis?) Well assembled, I believe they will be nice architectural features in the garden. They will offer support for tomato vines and beans. (I see them in the winter featuring Christmas lights and trims lending festivity to the landscape.) I've also discovered some elevated rolling veggie beds -- practical and aesthetically quite appealling. (These are pictured in the photo above.) However, they may have to wait until next year's expansion plans. You'll find more great projects like this at The Front Yard Farmer's website

I would love to add some beautiful blueberry bushes, too; but, be assured, for the most part our yard will remain green (and brown) and inedible. I'm praying for a bumper crop on the small portion we devote to food. 

So, you're not into gardening, but you would like to serve your family fresh fruits and veggies, support local farmers, and find sustainably grown varieties -- organic when possible. I would like to finish this article, then by sharing with you the options for local farmers' markets and food co-ops. We are so thankful their excellence in delivering fresh locally grown selections -- some of them organic, as well. Our little front yard garden adventure will certainly not provide all the fresh produce we would like, and we will be taking advantage of the offerings from these as well. Many of the markets will begin to open in early April. The co-ops are ongoing. And while we are speaking garden here, please know that you will also find some excellent choices in meat and seafood at some of these locations. You may know of others in Memphis to add to this list. Please do so in the comments!

Memphis Ag Center Farmers' Market
Westwind Farms

Here are some great Front Yard Gardening Sites. ENJOY!

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