Friday, May 29, 2015

Community Garden... in the front yard?

I've been told to be more patient regarding the community garden. So I'm cooling it for a while. But I'll be honest, I don't have much hope or patience with the bureaucracy of the city right now.

Thumbs up.
There are literally two committees and three sub-committees for a local entity that is supposed to help to "oversee the coordination of public and private efforts to improve access to nutritious, affordable, culturally appropriate, fresh, and safe foods for all residents of {the city}." 

I've submitted the application to them twice now, asking for confirmation of receipt or at least what else they need from me to get the ball rolling. My frustration is running deep, but I'll admit, I'm a very impatient person.

I'm the kind of person who, when she hears her email notification sound, feels obligated to check to see if there's work for her to do. I like to work. I like to get things done. It seems I'm a minority.

So, since I'm impatient and need something to plan, I've decided to look at our own land. We have control over it. We can dictate everything from water barrels to types of crops to placement of beds. If I want to leave the bureaucracy behind (and I do), I should do it on my own land.

Of course, some places seem to have restrictions on what you can plant in your front yard. Some cities have outright outlawed front lawn vegetable gardens. So I figured calling the city for this one answer would be easier than dancing around their committees, sub-committees, city officials, and all that jazz.

So I called the city today. There's a general inquiry phone number that you can call to get connected to the correct department for your inquiry. The lady who handled my call said "oooh, that's a good question." My question was simply "can a resident of the city have raised garden beds on the front lawn?"

Turns out it was a good question. The person I was connected to didn't know what a "raised

garden bed" was. When I tried to describe it, and she got even more confused, I said "you don't know what a raised garden bed is?"

Clearly I offended her. "No I do not." I apologized, and she said she'd have to ask her supervisor. I got put on hold again.

She comes back a minute later and says "she doesn't know either. She said to check your ordinances."
So I respond with "if it's not in the ordinances, then I can do it?"
All I got was an "....I.... don't know."

I looked up the ordinances. There's nothing that says anything restrictive about raised garden beds in the front lawn. 

And after today's conversation, I'm pretty sure someone needs to be doing this in the city if folks at City Hall don't know what a "raised garden bed" is. :(

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