Not to beat a dead horse, but a recent New York Times article on a homeowners right to have a yard different from the traditional lawn just forced me to write another blog on the topic. This story pertained not to a “natural” back yard as I discussed in my prior postings, but on the ability to make a front yard into a vegetable garden.
It seems that there are people that just think it is an abomination to have anything other than a lawn in the front yard. As the article correctly notes, lawns were and remain nothing more than status symbols. That’s right, status symbols.
The manicured lawn was established as a way of saying “look at me, I am so wealthy that I can take my land and not grow food on it.” Of course, we in the U.S. have so fully embraced this idea that it is actually enshrined as law in many locations around the country.
The article takes a look at several people who simply wanted to make their land productive. Rather than waste time, money and natural resources on a plant that serves no useful purpose, they wanted to grow food to feed their families. THE OUTRAGE!
In some cases, the homeowner has won, in others, it is pending, in at least one of the cases cited, the homeowner moved to a friendlier locale.
In my opinion, as I have stated already, the law needs serious changing. Property maintenance laws have a purpose to protect public health. I think that such a law is reasonable in many ways; you don’t want people growing poison ivy patches for example, or storing garbage around the yard. But I mean really, a vegetable garden?
I for one am not there yet. I have converted much of my yard to a more natural state, planting trees, etc. I hope to create a small patch of productive ground in 2013. Thankfully, my community does not have a law against vegetables.