Edible Landscapes (and Ed) on Chow.com


Check out this article on the food website Chow, all about growing food in the front yard.  I was interviewed for the story and got a tiny little mention and a link but the interviewee I suggested to Chow – our friend Ed Bruske – made MUCH better copy and ran away with the whole story, photos and all! 

Well, it couldn’t be helped because when the reporter asked me about neighborhood reaction to my modest little veggie garden and I had nothing interesting to report, I knew she HAD to talk to a real urban farmer like Ed.  Some of his neighbors have posted such vicious and personal attacks in anonymous comments on his blog that it’s a wonder he hasn’t turned it all back to lawn.  Which I suppose is their goal, but they don’t know Ed.


  1. Susan, my wife (aka Lane) is moving full speed ahead with her landscaping plan, hoping to start on a retaining wall any week now. What this will mean eventually is a formal hedge around the permieter, beyond which the veggie-garden-hating neighbors will see very little. I will have two potagers–about as much bed area as I have now–but lots of fruits trees and berries and other edibles that we don’t have at all at the moment. Stay tuned…

  2. Thanks for the link. I volunteered at Fritz Haeg’s installation here in Austin. I’m also on the board of a nonprofit that installs organic vegetable gardens for families and individuals in need. Sometimes the gardens are in the front yard, sometimes in the back. I just wrote a post about our new vegetable garden on the banks of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. I just love how vegetable gardening in lieu of grass-planted yards are taking off!

  3. Back in the mid ’90s in college a few roommates and I planted our front yard (rental) with herbs, fruits, and veggies. Many in the neighborhood loved it, but living in a liberal college town helps. Some of the other landlords had other opinions, but opinions are like…
    Well when we moved out the new tennants weed whipped everything down. Over the next few nights many of us made midnight runs to dig all that the new tennants would not appreciate, some people like TV!
    Today our front yard is too dry or shaded to grow many edibles, but we did till up the turf the 2nd day we owned the house. Cypress mulch, turf grass, and garden chemicals, the axis of evil! Has anyone notified homeland security?

  4. I had a similar experience recently…I was also interviewed about growing food in the front yard, and got a small quote in “Edible Austin” as a result. The interviewer really seemed to want to find angry neighbors and controversy over my growing strawberries and Swiss chard. However, I live in a neighborhood where people decorate cars as front yard art, and raise chickens…so a few strawberries are not going to raise any eyebrows.

  5. To plant those tiny seed 1/4 inch deep just cut a small furrow 1/4 inch deep. Then after the seeds are placed in the bottom, cover them level with very fine soil or sand. Another tip: mix the tiny seeds with sand, it makes it easier to sow them more evenly.

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