Members coming by the farm to pick up vegetables this week will notice some big changes here since last season. For the last four years, the task of landscaping our front yard kept getting bumped to the bottom of the list while we dealt with more pressing needs around the property. Finally, this June, the timing was right to get the job done and Rachel was able to take the lead on this one. She carefully selected a collection of perennials to plant and recruited her parents to lend a hand with the makeover process.
A lot of people travel by foot in our neighbourhood and most of these people have something to say, so that meant Rachel had to budget a significant amount of her landscaping time for chatting with the neighbours! I got used to hearing new voices from the front yard everyday and our daughter was thrilled to be out in the middle of the action, greeting each person with a smile as they passed by.
The photo above shows the view of the yard from the street after the recent makeover. We put up a short fence to help create some degree of privacy for the vegetable area without covering it up entirely. My mind sometimes wanders to the risks of leaving things wide open like this since there is a lot of value in the crops here, but our intention with the farm has always been to help reunite people with real food and we can't accomplish that by keeping everything a secret. At our farm tours, someone always asks about vandalism. Yes, it happens occasionally, and each destructive act weighs on me, but when I think of our public interactions as a whole, they have been so overwhelmingly positive. What a shame it would have been to let the potential risks of running such a public enterprise prevent all of the good that has come because of it. Though it is always a vulnerable act to put what you really care about out into the world, we are continually encouraged when we hear the changes in the talk of the block.