Thursday, April 30, 2009

Step 1 - Size-up and Planning

So, where did this crazy idea come from anyway? It's something that has been on Brandy's mind and heart for quite a few months, perhaps even years. To say she has a green thumb would be an understatement and now that we have three kids, food choices have been something we both consider seriously almost every day.

Jake had the idea last year to remove the sod to the right of our driveway, but it seemed unrealistic at the time. We thought about it more over the time since then and, with the recent pummeling of the economy, there has been talk in the media remembering the "Victory Gardens" from WWII. The ideas spurred us on.

We have great relationships with our neighbors:
  • Right across the street is a wonderful Indian family whose culinary convictions are aligned with the Ayurvedic diet. When one cooks food in the Ayurvedic style, it is vegan, organic, and only fresh. They have often shared with us many wonderful and exotic dishes after dinner and guests. Their young boy is a playmate of all three of our kids which makes the relationship more consistent. Since she is a culinary instructor and has a strong interest in the purity of her ingredients, they are a natural partner in this effort to bring out food from the earth.
  • Next door is a great older couple that has been growing strawberries and tomatoes for years. They have agreed to sacrifice a little of the grass on their side of the property line and also allow use of their lawn irrigation to install a drip system for plants on their side.
  • Other neighbors are showing interest, but not necessarily participating. We fully expect that as the plants grow, the interest will grow with it, especially with a total of 9 kids on our small street.
So we decided, after conferring and getting commitment from our two closest neighbors, to go for it.

We started by stringing line on the ground to lay out the sod that would be removed. We left it up for over a week to get a sense of how it would feel to walk around it every day. As a result, we adjusted the side on our neighbor's lawn to accommodate more room for getting in and out of the car.

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

Next update - Sod removal!

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