Lawn Maintenance Response- Not a happy camper

This is a response to a post that was made on a site called “nextdoor.com” and has to do with lawn maintenance. I’m not very happy that people are taking such a condescending attitude that something that’s not a “grass” as being bad. I’m generally _for_ open mindedness and learning why/how/what people are doing when it comes to something that’s non-mainstream. Doing something that others won’t or can’t or are uninformed about, takes FAR more effort than just doing what the mainstream does.

As has already been noted, we’ve converted our whole front yard into a mixed use garden. We have been called into our municipality, who acted swiftly to get out and investigate the situation. However, uncharacteristically of our municipal government, we’re being handled in a very heavy handed manner with absolutely zero customer service considerations. (very uncharacteristic of Fishers city employees)

The following is a response to _this_ thread on “nextdoor.com”:

I’ve been following the myriad of “Lawn” related discussions on this site for a while now. I’ve been keeping quiet for a while and I’m now at a point where I feel that someone has just taken a VERY condescending tone about _OUR_ yard.

In general, I would agree that if your yard is a majority of “Grass” (of which I mean Kentucky blue/ Fescue/ Zoysia) and it’s not being controlled/manicured in an appropriate manner, it can be an eye-sore. As we’re supposed to be “neighborly” and each of us help the others (as _I_ was raised to do), has anyone considered talking with the neighbor about their grass? If the person has mechanical issues (as one of ours currently does) they may not have the means to mow. If the person is out of town, they may not even know about the status of their lawn. If the place is rental, have you contacted the _ACTUAL_ property owner, not just the agency ‘managing’ the place? Outside of immediately jumping at filing actions with the city, try helping first – only after attempting to be neighborly and having exhausted civility, THEN file a complaint with the city and let them take over.

This brings me to _OUR_ yard. After many years of discussion, we decided to replace the grass in our front yard with a full on mix of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Yes, WE are that yard that Mrs. IBEY was claiming as being “OUT OF CONTROL.” Yes, we have been called into the city by one, or more, of our ‘neighbors.’ Yes, I am in the process of opening a discussion with the senior management of the city because the “visit” that was mentioned, in a previous response, was more of a set of threats from an ‘enforcer’ than a check in on progress on an existing inquiry. Yes, there is a lot of dirt right now, but in a couple of weeks there will be myriads of plants coming up. NO, I don’t want to be part of a generic green grass and juniper bush look (not that I think it’s wrong, it’s not what I think is nifty to look out at). NO, I do not think everyone should do what we’re doing unless they’re REALLY committed gardening (it does take a lot of work to keep maintained). YES, I think people should try growing more of their own food and use less chemicals on their lawns. NO, I will not “force” my opinion on anyone like is being hefted onto us.

There have been several people who have stopped and asked us what we’re doing, and we’re both more than happy to explain or answer questions.  For anyone who’s read this far and would like to know what our objective with the front garden is, my wife and I are attempting to grow as much of our own produce as we can. Nothing against the produce that we can get at the farmer’s market, we enjoy the challenges, and rewards, that come from growing our own veggies.  We also perceive that there’s an additional benefit to our gardens – we’re lowering the carbon footprint we incur. For every pound of produce we grow and eat at home, we’ve found evidence that we’re keeping 1400 pounds of gas from being burned/used to get that food from “Farm” to grocery store. We’ve also found that a secondary benefit in that our children have taken an interest in gardening, knowing what we’ve planted, and looking for the bugs/insects that visit (both good and bad).  Where’s the harm in teaching something more than just from a text book on plant biology?

Feel free to stop by and talk with us when we’re outside. We’re truly happy to talk about what’s going on in the gardens and what’s going to come. Or feel free to join the discussion/community page we’ve started on Facebook, Suburban Vegetation. (I also see that my wife wrote a small response while I was typing this….)
–Chris

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