Grow Your Own Food

Published on October 2nd, 2011 | by Becky Striepe


Spotted: Front Yard Vegetable Garden

Front Yard Food Garden in Oakhurst Near Atlanta, GA

Front Yard Food Garden in Oakhurst Near Atlanta, GA

We’ve talked before about communities coming down on residents for growing veggies in the front yard instead of more traditionally “ornamental” plants. In fact, our sister site Insteading recently reported on folks in L.A. fighting an ordinance that requires a $400 permit to plant a food garden!

With all of the bad news about growing your own food, I thought it might be refreshing to share one example of a front yard garden that’s not having problems with the law. The garden pictured above is in Oakhurst, a community just east of Atlanta, GA. Please excuse the not-so-stellar picture. I took this with my camera phone while out on an early morning run. It really doesn’t do Oakhurst or the garden justice – both are very lovely!

Have you guys run across any front yard gardens going off without a hitch? Let’s keep the positive energy going in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to Spotted: Front Yard Vegetable Garden

  1. Richard says:

    My Sister in Gunnison Co has a front yard garden. No problems with ordinances, but a little trouble with vandals liking big squash.

  2. In Seattle, we do this all the time. In fact, the city recently passed legislation allowing parking strip gardens outright. There are rules – vegetation can’t grow so high it blocks visibility of cars exiting the driveway, for example. There’s an ordinance against fruit trees in parking strips, but everybody violates it.

    For those of you less lucky, I recommend growing unusual edibles that you can argue are actually ornamentals. For example, some ornamental quinces have fruit perfectly acceptable for preserves, as do crabapples (a good pectin source), medlar (whose fruit appears inedible – you have to let it blet on your windowpane first before eating). Serviceberries, evergreen huckleberries – the list will be different in your locale (I am in Seattle). But everywhere, there are edibles that most people will not recognize as such. In fact, many foragers find the line between edible and ornamental to be blurry and arbitrary. The more obscure the plant, the less defensible the city’s fine. Learn your forgotten edibles, plant something obscure, and enjoy the conversations you’ll start.

    Joshua McNichols

  3. I have see gardens like this one, but more common is the type of vegetable garden that I have in my front yard. I created garden beds that sweep along the edges of the yard, filling them with vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. There are a few non-edibles. Since the plants are organized in patterns, some people do not realize that the plants are not ornamental, but most have understood that this is a vegetable garden after seeing my children and I harvest produce for dinner.

  4. Summer says:

    We’re in northern California and our neighbors across the street grew corn in the front yard this past summer. Their front yard has a south west exposure. They wouldn’t be able to grow anything in the backyard. Not everyone is blessed with the right conditions to grow vegetables in their backyard. I’ve also seen other front yard gardens around town with a mixture of vegetables and ornamental plants with some very beautiful results. The times, they are a changing.

  5. Rachel says:

    I run an urban farming company in Los Angeles called Farmscape and we’ve installed numerous front yard gardens including my own large garden that takes up the entire yard. The city hasn’t bothered us yet about permits but I’ve heard of the story you posted above. It’s silly that gardening has a stigma attached to it. We should take back our lawns and make them productive again!

  6. Deb Dorn says:

    I am currently removing more and more lawn in the front. So far, half of the yard is a wildflower garden with large sunflowers. I am going to add herbs and vegetables in the 2012 garden, while also removing more lawn in the back and increasing the size of my overall gardens. And will add 2 chickens for 2012 as well. I purposely live in a non-HOA neighborhood.

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