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Old 01-15-2013, 08:25 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
This idea has been around for quite some time. Rosalind Creasy wrote a book in 1982 called Edible Landscaping. She proposed planting edibles throughout the yard instead of ornamental plants.
Well, I like some ornamentals, and I think that's what most people have in the front yard, with the backyard for the vegetable garden. Much is made of the esthetics of a city, why not in one's yard? We have a great rose garden, with all our roses having some meaning to us. There's the one my co-workers gave me when my mother died, a rose named "Mr. Lincoln" for our years in Illinois, one that is named the same as our older daughter, a "4th of July" for the other daughter (that's her birthday), etc. We have two now-huge Colorado Blue Spruce that were there when we moved in, and a maple that we planted when we moved in. We brought it home in the back of our car, and now it provides much-needed shade for that south facing lawn, and our house. We have a "Prariefire" crab apple (again for our years in Illinois, but mostly chosen b/c it's a late bloomer to avoid the late Colorado freezes) that is absolutely gorgeous in the spring.

You have to have equipment and storage space if you're going to grow a lot of food. You need canning equipment and jars, not too expensive but they do take a while to amortize, and if you're going to freeze stuff, you need a stand-alone freezer which is not hugely expensive, but probably takes a lifetime to amortize if you're only using it for freezing vegetables.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,634,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
This idea has been around for quite some time. Rosalind Creasy wrote a book in 1982 called Edible Landscaping. She proposed planting edibles throughout the yard instead of ornamental plants.
Even before that there were victory gardens planted during World War I and World War II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, I like some ornamentals, and I think that's what most people have in the front yard, with the backyard for the vegetable garden. Much is made of the esthetics of a city, why not in one's yard? We have a great rose garden, with all our roses having some meaning to us. There's the one my co-workers gave me when my mother died, a rose named "Mr. Lincoln" for our years in Illinois, one that is named the same as our older daughter, a "4th of July" for the other daughter (that's her birthday), etc. We have two now-huge Colorado Blue Spruce that were there when we moved in, and a maple that we planted when we moved in. We brought it home in the back of our car, and now it provides much-needed shade for that south facing lawn, and our house. We have a "Prariefire" crab apple (again for our years in Illinois, but mostly chosen b/c it's a late bloomer to avoid the late Colorado freezes) that is absolutely gorgeous in the spring.

You have to have equipment and storage space if you're going to grow a lot of food. You need canning equipment and jars, not too expensive but they do take a while to amortize, and if you're going to freeze stuff, you need a stand-alone freezer which is not hugely expensive, but probably takes a lifetime to amortize if you're only using it for freezing vegetables.
I agree that some ornamentals are great though a lot of edible plants actually look great as well and could be arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way such as apple trees of all sorts. On the flip side, a lot of ornamentals are actually edible and sometimes delicious such as roses whose petals can be eaten (and is commonly done so in South Asia) or used to make rosewater that can be put into all sorts of things and also bear rose hips which are very tart fruits of the rose which can be used in a number of ways such as a delicious rose hip soup.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:08 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,003,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You have to have equipment and storage space if you're going to grow a lot of food. You need canning equipment and jars, not too expensive but they do take a while to amortize, and if you're going to freeze stuff, you need a stand-alone freezer which is not hugely expensive, but probably takes a lifetime to amortize if you're only using it for freezing vegetables.
Certainly true, but somewhat irrelevant. On the one hand, if you are planting for the sake of growing lots of fruits and vegetables, you have likely accounted for the equipment costs. Furthermore, if you're growing that much, it's likely beyond the scope of a SFH front yard. On the other hand, most backyard fruit trees were planted, I assume, for the look, shade, and (some, but not enough to live off of) fruit, and front yard trees and vegetable plants to the same end. From that perspective, it's a matter of intended purpose.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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Its no mistake they want their garden in the front yard, what good is being hip green and progressive if no one can see it? These people are probably not concerned with the food but doing it as a fashion statement.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:49 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Its no mistake they want their garden in the front yard, what good is being hip green and progressive if no one can see it? These people are probably not concerned with the food but doing it as a fashion statement.
That or some kind of other statement about how you can use your front yard to grow food? Why be such a curmudgeonly poop? It could have all kinds of other social functions such as actually causing you to be out in the front yard and visible to the rest of the neighbors and upping some chance of interaction in the suburbs or otherwise. It's not all that terrible is it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:14 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Certainly true, but somewhat irrelevant. On the one hand, if you are planting for the sake of growing lots of fruits and vegetables, you have likely accounted for the equipment costs. Furthermore, if you're growing that much, it's likely beyond the scope of a SFH front yard. On the other hand, most backyard fruit trees were planted, I assume, for the look, shade, and (some, but not enough to live off of) fruit, and front yard trees and vegetable plants to the same end. From that perspective, it's a matter of intended purpose.
Ya think? I think, from personal experience, that most people have no idea how much the equipment costs. Here are some prices:

Pressure cooker:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost...w=1496&bih=887

$88 to $225. If you process a dozen jars of tomatoes, that works out to $7.33 to $18.75 per jar just for the pressure cooker! Even after 10 years, it's still $.73 to $1.87 per jar.

12 canning jars, 1/2 pint:

$7 to $11.44. Reusable until the rims get nicked or the jars break.

Lids and rings: $4. Lids NOT reusable, rings reusable until they get lost or bent out of shape.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost...w=1496&bih=887

Plus gas/electric to cook the tomatoes.

A dozen jars of tomatoes is a lot. There's a lot of waste with canning tomatoes. They need to be skinned and quartered, at which point they lose a lot of water.

Price of freezer:

For a small chest freezer-$64-$213, plus electricity.

Now you can buy a 16oz (pint) can of tomatoes for about $1-$2 (more at Whole Foods, of course).

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-20-2013 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:53 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
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Saw a couple of buck deer in my back yard today. Apparently I am growing edibles out there, though I thought they were dwarf pines :-)
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:05 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,003,828 times
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Thus I had the qualifiers about intentionally growing lots of fruit and vegetables and being beyond the scope of the front yard of a single family home. Like I said, if you plan to grow an extensive garden in your yard or yards, which requires a good deal of planning in itself, then such a person would, likely, have looked at guides on food storage (eg, canning).

But, for everyone else, a front yard garden requires no more than the same back yard garden, of which many exist.

Your point about cost is well taken, but not aligned with the meaning of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Ya think? I think, from personal experience, that most people have no idea how much the equipment costs. Here are some prices:

Pressure cooker:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost...w=1496&bih=887

$88 to $225. If you process a dozen jars of tomatoes, that works out to $7.33 to $18.75 per jar just for the pressure cooker! Even after 10 years, it's still $.73 to $1.87 per jar.

12 canning jars, 1/2 pint:

$7 to $11.44. Reusable until the rims get nicked or the jars break.

Lids and rings: $4. Lids NOT reusable, rings reusable until they get lost or bent out of shape.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost...w=1496&bih=887

Plus gas/electric to cook the tomatoes.

A dozen jars of tomatoes is a lot. There's a lot of waste with canning tomatoes. They need to be skinned and quartered, at which point they lose a lot of water.

Price of freezer:

For a small chest freezer-$64-$213, plus electricity.

Now you can buy a 16oz (pint) can of tomatoes for about $1-$2 (more at Whole Foods, of course).
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:55 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Or maybe the author of the article in the OP doesn't know what she's talking about. That is the problem with "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing". If you grow this food, unless you want to throw it out, you have to preserve the excess that you can't eat. It's not cheap to do that. You can easily grow more than you can consume in one season in your front yard (depending on how big the yard is, of course). A dozen tomato plants, which would easily fit into the front yard in the picture (which seems to have had some shrubs and a cute little stone wall which won't produce anything added) will produce a LOT of tomatoes. Even if you stagger the plantings a bit, once they start coming in, you get overwhelmed. The stories of people trying to get rid of their zucchini are legendary, and they get as big as baseball bats. Produce rots unless you preserve it.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-21-2013 at 08:51 AM..
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,634,230 times
Reputation: 11611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Or maybe the author of the article in the OP doesn't know what she's talking about. That is the problem with "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing". If you grow this food, unless you want to throw it out, you have to preserve the excess that you can't eat. It's not cheap to do that. You can easily grow more than you can consume in one season in your front yard (depending on how big the yard is, of course). A dozen tomato plants, which would easily fit into the front yard in the picture (which seems to have had some shrubs and a cute little stone wall which won't produce anything added) will produce a LOT of tomatoes. Even if you stagger the plantings a bit, once they start coming in, you get overwhelmed. The stories of people trying to get rid of their zucchini are legendary, and they get as big as baseball bats. Produce rots unless you preserve it.
Why do you assume she doesn't know what she's talking about? I've had excess tomatoes for years when I lived in the suburbs (excess as in more than my family and I can eat). One thing we did was give quite a bit away which is a nice enough thing to do. I didn't have much issue or cost overload in regards to preserving them since I already had large pots for making big batches of stew and boiling crustaceans. Skinning tomatoes is actually a quick process if you blanche them and then dip them into ice water immediately. Canning jars can be reused over and over and you can buy reusable lids. A pressure cooker isn't strictly necessary (for most people, I understand it's different for you in Denver), but if you have one, its usage isn't at all restricted to just canning so I don't know about allocating the full cost of to just canning. The fact that making sauce requires a lot of tomatoes is fine since you're already under the assumption of having a surfeit of tomatoes.

A cheaper and easier solution is to just dry them which is cheap and stores very easily. Freezing is still another solution (though that's some valuable real estate sometimes). The other thing is to not plant so many tomato plants or zucchini plants, but instead get a bigger mix of different kinds of plants planted in smaller quantities, with emphasis on getting a good mix that produce edibles or other utilitarian stuff at different times of the year. Why would you plant a dozen tomato plants if you figured that would be too much? Why wouldn't you grow some garlic, basil, carrots, or chives instead of more tomato plants?

I admit, I'm a bit puzzled by your reactions to all of this. It seems kind of over the top. What exactly is so irksome about that article?

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 01-21-2013 at 01:00 PM..
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