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Lose the lawn - gain a garden!

935 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Silvercreek Farmer
Very interesting article located at:

The article discusses how people living in subdivisions/developments are removing the grass from a portion of their yards to plant vegetables and other edible landscaping. Pretty interesting.

I could not post the article due to copyright restrictions. Sorry.

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We have 1/2 acre total, a little more in the back than in the front. But in the front we have a 20'x30' vegetable garden, a fig tree, apple tree, pear tree, 2 peach trees, a hedge of blackberries blocking our fairly busy 2 lane road, raspberries, 2 blueberry cbushes, a small bamboo grove, a patch of jerusalem artichokes, and our newest addition a fish barrel with water plants and gold fish. Not to mention all the flowers and regular landscaping. We got one citation 2 years ago when I had loaned my mower out and the grass had seed heads at 12" before I got it back. It was cited as being "unsanitary" even though there was not a scrap of trash and a potential "haven for rodents" just because the grass was tall, I have since kept it mowed regularly and continue to plant more food and they have left me alone, not being able to say a word about my "landscaping" because it is not grass, and isn't coverd in the ordinance. Now the back yard, that is where the fun begins, 5 goats, 7 chickens, 4 ducks, 11 ducklings (at the moment) and 3 rabbits. This too, I keep well maintained making sure there is no odor and doesn't get turned into a dirt lot, selling off animals when I need to. So far, so good (three years) I had to get a $25 permit this spring when the officials found out about it. They would have never known had 2 of my goats not escaped from the neighbors yard (where they were performing organic brush control) resulting in a visit from animal control. I didn't meet any of the space requirements for animals (they wanted an acre per goat), however the animal control officer issued me the permit anyway because he was so impressed with my set-up. It is so sad many areas don't allow people to raise their own food. We eat tremendous amounts of home grown produce, eggs and meat all off of 1/2 an acre. I do "tours" on a regular basis just to show that it can be done!
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saramark said:
I feel sorry for those that have to deal with the bureaucracy described by Matthew. Fined for having animals? Not cutting your grass gets a citation? I am glad to live in Maine, where people leave each other alone for the most part. We do have some of the stupid laws, but I can still paint my house the color I want and nobody cares if I don't cut the grass.


One thing I can do is paint my house the color I want to, as a matter of fact it was swimming pool blue for a while (not my doing) but is now a more subdued gray. A lot of the picky bs comes along with homeowner's associations and fortunatly I do not have to deal with one of those. While we do not have free reign of the place, it is not bad compared to some other cities and towns. You ought to read some of the stuff folks from urban California and urban New England have to put up with.
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