I planted a small front yard garden with a sign, "Food is Free Project." There was plenty of space behind my privacy fence to garden, but it seemed like a cool idea to do it out front, so I just went for it.
It quickly amazed me how many more neighbors I started to connect with who were walking their dog or strolling by. Though I felt vulnerable in the front yard, it was also kind of magical.
Something as simple as a garden created a real human connection that would have otherwise not happened if I were gardening in the backyard. As time went on, I started to imagine how to share that connection with others in my community. What would it be like to live on a block where that was normal to have a front yard garden?
Though it seemed crazy, I put a call out to friends and we had a launch party, sharing our vision with the community over a potluck and local music. After sharing the vision of front yard community gardens, over 100 people from around town offered to host a front yard garden.
A bit overwhelmed, I thought if we prove the idea on one block as a pilot, we could open-source the idea and inspire and teach others how to make it happen. We'd share our mistakes and successes and quicken the learning curve for others.
Within 5 weeks you were in the minority on our block of Joe Sayers Ave if you didn't host a front yard community garden. Neighbors on my block were meeting for the first time in 20 years, connecting over the new front yard gardens lining our street.
It can feel overwhelming trying make a difference in the world, but we can each focus on our immediate sphere of influence. When the power of our small actions unite, the whole world is changed one piece at a time. Have you started a front yard or community garden? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. :)
The Food is Free Project is an open-source grassroots movement to grow food in public places and share it with the community. What began as an experiment in the front yard has evolved into a world-wide community.
Learn How To Start a Food is Free Project: http://foodisfreeproject.org
Thanks for following @foodisfree and sharing the vision!
Onward and Upward,