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Yes, you may

 
steward & bricolagier
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I thought on it, and I'm going to open up a 1 foot wide strip out by the street at this rental, and plant it with yellow squash, zucchini, bush beans and the like, and put a sign on it "Yes, you may" And let people pick what they want. I think it might have a good positive impact on this street. It's a small street, maybe 15 houses, dead end, and most of the neighbors are known to each other to one extent or the other, at least familiar faces as they drive by.

Seems to me this is something I have skills to do that might help others, and might open the street up to more positive results in a bad time. It's been raining, the soil is soggy as hell, easy to break up, and it's a good time to plant in a week or two.  I don't have any tomatoes sprouted, or I'd do them too, have seeds but bad sprouting conditions. Wish I had plants I could put there. Rowdy cherry tomatoes would be great. Wonder if I could put a sprouting setup in the neighbor's garage, she doesn't use her garage much. Hmm.....

Is this an idea you can do too? Doesn't have to be elegant, just something easy to do.

:D
 
pollinator
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I think it's a great idea.  I think I would add to the sign and say something like "Please take only what you will eat today.  Leave some for others to enjoy as well."
 
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What a great idea! Is it OK if I share this with my local sustainable living meetup here in central Ohio?

 
Pearl Sutton
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Catherine Carney wrote:What a great idea! Is it OK if I share this with my local sustainable living meetup here in central Ohio?


OH YES!!! Spread it far and wide! The more people growing food the better off ALL of us are!! And if they don't have good space to do it, does someone else who will let them? The rental here happens to have a good bare sunny area right along the street. If it didn't, I'd be knocking on the neighbor's doors "Hi, you have a lovely sunny front yard...."

I don't do Facebook, anyone who does, throw it there too. Pass this on!!!
 
Catherine Carney
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Thank you! I will pass along through the organizations I'm affiliated with around here.

I wonder if a silver lining from this pandemic is that it may jumpstart interested in local production/sustainable living and actually get communities to actively support it (via changing zoning laws, for instance, to allow gardens in front yards and poultry on urban/suburban properties). I hope that will be the case, but not holding my breath....
 
Pearl Sutton
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Catherine Carney wrote:Thank you! I will pass along through the organizations I'm affiliated with around here.

I wonder if a silver lining from this pandemic is that it may jumpstart interested in local production/sustainable living and actually get communities to actively support it (via changing zoning laws, for instance, to allow gardens in front yards and poultry on urban/suburban properties). I hope that will be the case, but not holding my breath....


I hope so too. I have wished I was in a position to do things like plant fruit trees everywhere etc. We need more food growing. I CRINGE when I hear people say things like "Oh I pulled out that cherry tree, it made a mess!"
 
Catherine Carney
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I know what you mean. I hate seeing people taking down trees just because they're "inconvenient." When we look at the amount of time it takes for a tree to grow, the benefits it provides to not just us but the environment (habitat, soil improvement, erosion control, etc), it becomes mind boggling to me to remove more than we have to for our specific needs.

I've been "guerrilla planting" trees for a while now--casually dropping seeds of edibles like peaches, pawpaws, etc here and there along the edges of fields and hedgerows as I hike, including at some of our local parks. With luck some of them will grow and produce reasonable food for people and critters....Now if we can just get community planners (aka politicians) to support improving vacant lots via community gardens instead of high rises....
 
master gardener
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Hi Pearl,

We need more of this.  This is a little different, but not far off concept wise, .....anyway a few years ago I walked into a clothing store that was located in the wrong neighborhood of the city.  I was struck by the most amazing sign, "Please do not shop lift.  If you are in need of clothing, please contact the manager".

I hunted down the manager as asked a few questions. Yes, shoplifting had been virtually eliminated.  In the past year only 2 people approached him. Both were modest with their needs. And, the store met those needs.  The most amazing thing was the the manager has received word that the local street gang had sent out the message that no one was to shoplift in that store and the employees and their vehicles were protected. KARMA.
 
Pearl Sutton
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gardener
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I love this idea.  I of live in the middle of orchards, and the road in front of the house is 45 mph, so it wont work for me.  I did start seeds, a bit late, but there started.  I started a lot more seed then I needed.  I thought it's as easy to start a hand full of seeds, as it is one.  When they get big enough I will share with friends and family.  I didn't realize what was to come when I did it, but I would say it will be good timing.  Maybe instead of April fools, I will pretend it's May day, and leave veggie plants on peoples door steps.  
 
Pearl Sutton
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I'm trying to spread this idea, I have a thread in the Cider Press about what I'm doing, anyone can read it, you can't reply unless you have at least 8 apples. Please read it, pass it on to anyone you can. I need Victory Gardens politician help
:D
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Great idea Pearl. Every situation is different but I think a table of veggie starts & maybe even some extra seeds set down by the roadside would all find good homes around here. Or later in the season a table of free vegetables if we are fortunate enough to have a good harvest. This thread reminded me of the time I planted onions & garlic in a neighborhood entrance sign/flower garden structure. It was basically a raised bed. The grounds maintenance crew never noticed or didn't care. They might still be going!
 
Catherine Carney
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Guerrilla garden planting at its finest, Mike.

While I grow a number of purely ornamental things (I would argue that we need beauty to feed our souls), prohibitions on "functional" or edible landscaping (you know, places where you can't grow a vegetable garden in front of your house, or have to maintain a manicured lawn) are, IMO, beyond idiotic. And a whole host of other words I can't use on this forum. Ditto for the prohibition on 6 or fewer hens or outright prohibitions on other poultry (ducks, quail) that prevent families from raising their own eggs. I find most small flocks of poultry less annoying than the neighbor's yappy dog.
 
pollinator
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I love that, Pearl!

We don't have sidewalks here, so no strip gardening for me. As to putting something out closer to the road with a "help yourselves" or "Yes, you may" sign, I'd have to check with the village and see if it's allowed.
 
Pearl Sutton
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No sidewalk here either. Most of the neighbor houses have a ditch along the road, someone put a pipe in the ditch here, and sort of leveled to the road. Sort of. So it's easy to walk into this yard from the street. The strip I mentioned would be a single long bed, single row wide for ease of picking.

:D
 
Molly Kay
pollinator
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Ah, I see. I know someone in town who gardens in the strip between the sidewalk and the street and my brain automatically went to that.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Molly Kay: How about if I said Stripe Gardening? One stripe of garden :D
hehehee :D
 
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A city neighbor once thinned her Iris and put the extras out with a sign that said "Free Iris". The next day someone had left a second sign that said,"Who is Iris and why must we free her?"
 
Pearl Sutton
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The Yes, you may  stripe is broken up, ready to plant when I can. Someone says we are getting cold again this weekend. We dipped below freezing a few nights ago. Today was lovely, cloudy and warm, I was out there barefoot with a little electric Mantis tiller. Glad I moved the Mantis! Tomorrow I use my tractor to open up a big garden bed in my back yard, then start opening up neighbors yards!! Two neighbors so far said they'd love a garden broken up, one said he didn't need it, and he would donate plants to the yes you may strip, as he always has too many! YAY!!
It ended up about 1 foot wide by somewhere between 20 and 30 feet long, not sure.

Edit: and for what it's worth, that's a due East- West strip, the road is to the south. Lovely sun exposure there! And the water comes off the road to that area.
 
Pearl Sutton
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aaaand it's gone weird. Watch for a new picture soon. Some of the neighbors (2 houses, 2 jr high boys, their mom in one house, grandma and grandpa next door) have no garden area, too much shade or buried power lines. So that cute little bed I made is going to get ripped with my tractor as big as I can get it, and they'll do the work on it. The reason I made the cute little one so small is because I assumed I'd be maintaining it, as well as my own gardens. Looks like it's gonna run amok. Grandma and grandpa know how to garden, and the boys are excellent workers. Tell the front yard goodbye! The tractor named Lady Sybil Ramkin cometh!!



 
roberta mccanse
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You go, Girl. How encouraging that others want to be involved.
 
Mike Barkley
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Woohoo. Say goodbye to that HOA. There's a new sheriff in town!!!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Barkley: No HOA, but it IS a rental!! :D

Roberta: my neighbors have noticed (as one of them put it) "Shit's getting real" yeah, they want to do this too. Just a matter of logistics. Most of them can't break up a garden bed. I have a tractor!!
 
pollinator
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> I have a tractor...

Whoa! Careful! That's about as bad as being the only one on the block who owns a nice ratty pickup that runs good... <G>


Rufus
 
roberta mccanse
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I want a tractor! But what I really need is a good old beater truck. Local Amish builders sell big bundles of slab cut from logs for $35. And the place that makes fence posts let's you come and pick up scraps for free.
 
Pearl Sutton
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roberta mccanse wrote:I want a tractor! But what I really need is a good old beater truck. Local Amish builders sell big bundles of slab cut from logs for $35. And the place that makes fence posts let's you come and pick up scraps for free.


The things  we covet as  we change our lives...
I saw a guy in town, oh my! Told him I have truck envy!! He laughed. It was big but not high to get into, had a huge work light across the front, bunch of tool boxes down the sides, still had room in the bed, a lift to get things in and out of the bed!
He does emergency repairs on the big diesels. I want it.... Toolboxes down the sides has always attracted me, it's like a giant purse that I can carry things in!!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:The tractor named Lady Sybil Ramkin cometh!!

]



Okay, I've been lurking for a week or so, soaking in all the info on this amazing site, but that tractor...that quote...that Pratchett reference...! The project itself is pretty great too.

So glad to have found this community. :-)
 
Pearl Sutton
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L Allen wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:The tractor named Lady Sybil Ramkin cometh!!

]



Okay, I've been lurking for a week or so, soaking in all the info on this amazing site, but that tractor...that quote...that Pratchett reference...! The project itself is pretty great too.

So glad to have found this community. :-)


hahahah! I'm honored to have inspired your first post!!  Welcome to permies! :D

I always classify trucks and equipment as female and this one is so big and imposing (to me) and heavy and ponderous, I debated naming her Queen Victoria, but decided Lady Sybil Ramkin was even better. The idea of a sweet lady, who mucks out dragon pens, but can pull serious projects off when required seemed very appropriate :)
My previous tractor (that got stolen and never recovered) was an itty bitty Kubota, that I named Tetsuko, The lady of Steel, after a fictional lady who inherited her father's holding when he died and was a very good Japanese Warlord. That fit nicely too :D
 
master gardener
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...and here I was so happy to provide my neighbor with lettuce seeds, as she's scared to go shopping. But Pearl - she gives her neighbors a whole garden. Well done!
 
gardener
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L Allen wrote: ...but that tractor...that quote...that Pratchett reference...! The project itself is pretty great too.

So glad to have found his community. :-)



I couldn't have said it better myself.

Welcome, L!

 
Pearl Sutton
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So, the Yes, You May strip has run amok.
Some of the neighbors have no good space for gardens, so I took my tractor to that area, and opened it up more.
Edited to add a picture of me and Lady Ramkin violating the warranty on this rental :D



There are now 4 nice neat rows, all tilled well with my little Mantis tiller (not my first choice, I'm going for expedient here) and I went to get straw to mulch it, and it is really seedy. How long must I solarize seedy hay? So. It's going to rain tonight, I just got the last rows of the bed tilled and grass removed and all that, and I have a total of 4 bales of straw out there now, getting rained on so I can cover them with plastic and fry all those seeds (and the residual grass!)

This neighborhood has a bad case of lawn mowing, and I hate mowing, so I made sure I have enough space around this covered in straw so I don't have to mow close to it.

The straw goes about 2 foot up to meet the road, (the soil was bad in that area, I skipped the row I planned to put there) and about 18 inches off the north side of the bed, and there's a place on the end by the driveway, about 6 feet on each side, that's always a pain to mow, it got covered too. In that square is the output for a badly done French drain (I think they need to go downhill, but that's just me) so I'll put a zucchini or yellow squash into the indention it has (that's above the height of the tube, but hey) and let it water (as much as it does) the squash.

Hey Mike Barkley, in your Smother the Lawn game, do I get points?!
It's about 1/3 of the front yard of this rental, most of the rest is shaded. The neighbors are up to staring stunned at it all...

:D


 
pollinator
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I did my parkstrips as "open forage" a few years ago. So far watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and sunchokes are thriving. And NO water! Yay! I told all the neighbors personally, but no one took advantage of it. I didn't want to put up a sign because I'm pretty sure some of the kids in the neighborhood would just be pulling the vegies so they could smash them on the street. But I'm spreading the word this year, word of mouth. A couple people are interested.

This year I'm doing five pumpkins, five watermelons, five tomatoes (last year I only had one, as a test) and rye as a vertical-interest-grassy-thing. Oh, and garlic is already there.
Parkstrip-watermelon-2018.jpg
[Thumbnail for Parkstrip-watermelon-2018.jpg]
 
gardener
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My sister just hipped me to northern adapted pigeon peas.
If they survive here,  I plan on selling/sharing the seed with my latin/indigenous neighbors,  and planting them in the front of my yarden for sharing.

Funny note,  one latin/indigenous guy stopped and asked me for some branches from my pine,  said it was medicinal for his wife.
I told him to help himself anytime.
He wanted my name, so he could tell people who gave the OK.
Super nice guy.
Sure beats the people who use my front yard as a waste basket.
 
Mike Barkley
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Points for Pearl. Points for everyone else who is trying to help feed their neighbors. Bonus points for less lawns to mow. Special artistic points for tractors with attitude!

 
Pearl Sutton
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Today's project was covering that wet seedy straw to solarize. It's looking pretty good, wind is predicted to be high gusts tomorrow, we'll see how well I have it held down! Held down with T posts, pipe with bricks on it, and bottles of water (and a few misc rocks.) It measures 50 feet by 12 feet.

 
Jen Fulkerson
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I had a fun day yesterday delivering my extra plants, mostly tomatoes to my family.  Mostly I put the plants in a shady place in there front yard and called to let them know.  One sister-in-law wanted to show me her garden, so we tried to stay 6" apart, but enjoyed sharing her garden, and she gave me an artichoke plant that I have been wanting to try, but haven't gotten around to it.  So win win.  My other sister-in-law has a husband that is in the danger zone age, and has several health issues including heart, so they aren't going out at all.  She was telling me she is getting over run with plastic Walmart bags.  I had her leave the bags where she wanted the plants, and took them to the recycle bin for her.  It felt good to share.  I have about 10 plants left.  I contacted the church my mother-in-law loved, they have a food pantry, I offered the plants to them.  If they don't want them I will put them on a box by the road.  No matter how it plays out I have enjoyed sharing my seedlings with others.  I will definitely do it again.
 
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Great idea! I didn't put up a sign, or make a special bed, but the neighborhood children gather around when I am outside and ask about gardening. I let them help me a little, with much supervision, and give them samples of things they would like to try...tomatillos? snake bean squash? yard long green beans? peaches?  Now the parents have started stopping by and thanking me, saying how their children were so much more willing to eat the vegetables that they chose and "worked" for. Usually they go home with more vegetables or a half dozen eggs, along with recipes. I love the idea of feeding my neighbors. Our community is in the process of starting up food gardens in unused yards and i will be putting in five beds between the street and sidewalk for this purpose. I will not be working or planning these beds, that is up to the volunteer recipients. We'll see how it works!
 
pollinator
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Hey Pearl, how's the project going?
I'd love to hear an update!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Due to health and weather and chaos issues, the last of the seeds for that bed JUST got planted. Tomatoes are considering doing their thing, everything is small. Vining things (squash, cukes etc) and small, but flowering and considering it. Tomatoes are tall enough they need tying up (over 2 feet tall) will get to that soon.

So it'll be coming in late, but it's coming :)
Final count on things in that bed: 27 tomatoes of all types, 23 vining plants of various types, a very crowded bit of row about 4 feet long solid with cantaloupe, approx 120 bush bean plants of 6 varieties, a few greens of several  types and 90 or so peanut plants (I was tired of thinking, and just filled the empty spaces with them.) So it should have decent production, at some point here :)  Hoping the fungus that has been killing all my squash etc in the back doesn't get them too.

Garden in a neighbor's yard that we planted in winter squash needs about half replanted where things fungused out... I'll put in fall crops, at this point. What survived is looking like it's about to flower.

:D
 
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