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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – November 6

At the Northeast Greenhouse Conference I heard Lloyd Traven, of Peace Tree Farm, speak about garden centers and the current importance of growing herbs and vegetables. He made the statement that we need to make the raising of vegetables “a normal part of life.”

Amen to that, Lloyd! There was a time, of course, when a backyard vegetable garden was far from unusual. In many parts of the country it was typical to be growing food, but since about 1975 this has gradually slipped away from being standard practice.

Everything old is new again, as the saying goes, and thankfully, we’re seeing a resurgence in home vegetable gardening. On GardenLine this morning I interviewed Shawna Lee Coronado, talking about her book Gardening Nude. No, not naked gardening, but, as the subtitle says, A Common Sense Guide to Improving Your Health and Lifestyle By Increasing Exposure to Nature, Cultivating a Green Mindset, and Building a Strong Community.

Shawna and I spoke about the importance of putting vegetable gardens in the front yard. Sometimes this is sunniest, best location to grow veggies. But more importantly, placing food in out front declares to all that this is of upmost importance. Growing vegetables in the front yard states that yes, this is a normal part of life.

Shouldn’t we always be willing to proudly make that which sustains us visible for all to see?

Although we have our vegetable garden in our front yard, this wasn't done as a matter of principle. This area, between our house and the street, gets the most sun and isn't constricted by local zoning that prohibits fences. It was a matter of practicality. Still, the vegetable garden was so important to us that we didn't consider not placing it out front.

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