Back in the 90’s after the front yard fell victim to layers of newspaper and a couple inches of mulch it’s been a journey of growth for our family. With an eye for function and form we’ve slowly transformed our typical lawn into a an edible landscape which provides our family with food and income.
Liberating our lawn was a radical act — a matter of “dollars & sense”
What’s unique about the urban homestead’s front yard (and has folks driving by for a look see) is that back in the 1990’s we just didn’t smother the lawn and put up square raised beds. Instead the front yard has slowly evolved over time to be an aesthetic mixture of herbs, fruits and vegetables into a beautiful and productive combination.
‘Winter’ List of Plants Growing in Front Yard February 2008
Growing Space: ~1,300 sq. ft.
The front yard landscape goes through about “four faces” with the change of seasons. Of course, it’s a little extra work to tend such a mixture of perennials and annuals but the results are worth it because the benefits are many.
Here are just a few….
Healthier urban eco-system
Better use of municipal water – if you have to water your yard why not get something in return
Local source of income
Reducing food miles
Combating climate change, energy dependence
Saving money with rising food costs
In our case, because of our homegrown business, we grow a bit more herbs and edible flowers than our family needs which takes up a sizable amount of growing space in the front yard.
The front yard fruit list is pretty impressive, growing fruit in such a small space can be challenging especially if you want to raise vegetables too.
We find that transforming a lawn into successful and productive edible front yard takes time. It’s an organic process, as the edible yard matures you have to mature along with it and that takes some effort and ingenuity.
For resources on edible landscaping and small scale orchard culture
:: Resources ::