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Iflizwerequeen, I would be the best Urban Gardener in the Universe.  However, as luck would have it, I am not the queen (thus the key word "if")  and I am so far down the line of the "best urban gardeners in the universe" that I'm not even a blip on that exclusive radar.

However, I like to believe that what I lack in horticultural knowledge, I more than compensate for with my unbridled energy and enthusiasm for urban farming.  If I were queen, I would degree that all citizens of the USA are required to grow at least one edible plant a year.  

Again, not being the queen, I fear that I'm limited to following the wise advice of Buckminster Fuller who is quoted as once saying:  “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

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[Above is an early photo take June 28, just two weeks into tearing out my front lawn.  Today, two months later, everything is much more lush.  In the bottom right foreground, for example, swiss chard heartily grows today by the perennial flowers.  I and my family have already had many salads from these greens.]

Inspired in great part by the adventures of Eric Toensmeier who wrote "Paradise Lot", I (a totally inexperienced gardener) began on June 12, 2013 to tear our my front lawn and replace it with what I hope in about three years will be a self-sustaining edible woodland garden.  

Thus far, in what was once a totally useless expanse of lawn, I currently have 17 blueberry bushes, 2 blackberry bushes, many strawberry plants, two almond trees, two peach trees, two pomegranite trees, and numerous other perennials--and I've hardly begun.

Tearing up one's front lawn is an exhilarating as well as socially stimulating adventure.  Over the past two months, 42 people driving past my home have stopped to chat with me.  I have lived in this home for 8 years and never once until now have passerbys stopped to chat with me when I'm out in the front yard.

LESSON LEARNED:  If you are lonely, start tearing out your front lawn.

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Just Two Good Reasons:  WHY NO MORE TRADITIONAL LAWNS

1.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in one hour of operation than 11 new cars each being driven for one hour. [SOURCE]

2.  You can’t eat  your lawn.  Just try putting grass clippings in your family’s salad and see how far that gets you.

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In the new edition of his book, “Edible Estates: Attack On The Front Lawn,” Fritz Haeg--artist, designer, gardener, and writer--argues that ripping out front lawns and replacing them with fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens can “ignite a chain reaction of thoughts that question other antiquated conventions of home, street, neighborhood, city.”  

". . . The front lawn is wrapped up in our ideas of the American dream. It’s a very iconic and loaded space. When you remove it and replace it with something else, you are questioning all of the values implicit in the lawn and what it stands for. It is significant to me not just because it’s a private space that’s very public – so visible in our cities and such an obvious opportunity to reconsider – but also because of what it symbolizes. The easiest first step for the urban citizen who wants to make a visible impact on their city is to go out that front door and get their hands in the dirt. It is the leading wedge into more complex and ambitious civic activity."

I've dubbed my own front lawn:  "Sir Solomon Grundy".

 

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Welcome to my world of Urban Farming here in the Dallas Metroplex!

Above is a photo I took July 30, 2013 of the first cantaloupe I ever grew.  

On July 7 the cantaloupe was growing out of a pot in my front yard and looked like this photo shown below.  Only 23 days later and the beauty shown above is displayed in my kitchen.  It’s the largest non-human thing I’ve ever grown and I forgot to weigh it!

What kind of a parent am I!!!!!!

I was so focused on tasting it that I lost track of much else.  But I will say that it was slightly larger than most cantaloupes purchased at the supermarket and a lot more beautiful.

Nothing can compare to a cantaloupe still warm from the sun and just picked from your own garden. It was a delicious nutty melon flavor.  The perfect texture:  Firm but not crunchy firm like so many melons purchased in the supermarket. Its skin had a golden glow, much like the color of its inside–not green like the ones in the store.  It was wonderful and yes, I have not only saved the seeds, I planted one of them and a healthy vine is now growing in one of my gardens.  With a little bit of Luck I'll have more cantaloupes before the first frost.  In addition, the mother vine that produced my first beauty has two promising female blossoms that are swelling so I may have more great cantaloupes long before a frost as well.

LESSONS LEARNED:  I can grow delicious food from a container--and if I can, believe me, you can too.  Eat cantaloupes as soon as possible after picking them. (I refridgerated the cantaloupe after eating three slices.  The cold slices did not taste nearly as flavorful as the one fresh from the garden--still even the refridgerated slices were superior to any cantaloupe I've eaten for years.)

Below is the Queen cantaloupe on July 7, 2013.

 

Below is the vine and pot from whence grew the queen cantaloupe.