I live in the suburbs in Northern California and walk to work, so I really see the details of other people’s front yards as I walk past them. Mostly these are just boring little grass plots going to waste on each side of the sidewalk.
Imagine if each of these was a kitchen garden growing fruits or nuts. And that streets could be closed to traffic on Saturday mornings and we could trade with each other:
What better way to reduce those carbon miles to practically zilch! As we transition to a post peak oil world, we will realize how much these little plots are going to be worth to us.
Occasionally I do see the most extraordinary produce gardens.
One entire yard in my neighborhood; which is a very far cry from the sweet corn capital in the Midwest, is entirely grown 6 feet high in sweet corn from fence to fence. Another side yard spills pumpkins sunning themselves by a warm concrete wall:
And I know from friends that many of us in the suburbs do have plums and tomatoes and lemons and kale and bell peppers growing in the backyard.
More people are realizing that our gardens aren’t just there to look pretty. Our gardens can make us food. Especially if we are already making our own earth, by composting our coffee grounds and onion skins and orange peel – all that stuff we used to pay the garbage man to take away.
But what to do with it all when we grow too much of a good thing? Can we just put it on craigslist? Nope:
Canning is one option, but that looks a little dauntingly time consuming to me.
Here’s a solution whose time has come. Veggietrader.com has set up a specialized home grown produce trading market for people to trade fruits and vegetables with each other.
Like craigslist, it depends on local interaction, so it’s not for everyone. If you live in a rural area hundreds of miles from your neighbors, it’s not for you. But if you live in well populated areas, this could be great for your excess garden produce.
How about it. Got any blackberries? I have just tons and tons of tomatoes. And honey.