I think I have indicated before that the reaction of the neighborhood to our decision to transform a large portion of our lot into growing space for vegetables and fruit trees has elicited some awesome interactions with our neighbors and passersby.
The project is still in its early stages, which means twiggy baby trees and empty-looking patches where things are beginning to sprout. The stuff that is growing isn’t exactly what’s typically considered attractive frontyard landscaping — tomatoes, onions, melons. And then there are those bigass rain barrels…
Nevertheless, several times a week, when we’re out working in the garden, drivers will pull over to ask about what we’ve planted or walkers pause to comment that they’ve been watching our progress. One woman even set to weeding with us while she chatted.
We were particularly touched by the thank-you card that showed up in our mailbox recently. Such a gesture seems uncommon in this day and age and makes me want to give these nice people a big hug (and a basket of tomatoes if I can keep the squirrels from stealing them).
Our neighbors’ excitement makes Zach and me feel like our growing experiment matters to more than just us. The totally unexpected attention is flattering, as well as intimidating. What if we fail, and everything that we’ve planted just croaks off? It’s not like either of us really know anything about gardening yet. We just know what we want this land to give us: sustenance, beauty and respite.
I am so glad that the people around us can see that. And I hope that we succeed and can share our bounty with them.