Edible stuff in the front yard

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Everything is edible in my front yard and all around the house as far as that goes, at least to my goats when they happen to escape their pasture. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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What part of the world/country you live in will help determine what plants might do well-- as well as which direction your front yard faces. My east facing front is less/more suited to some things than say a north facing front.

Just curious, but where is that? I'm a native USAn & I still like to make most of the plants I put in have some culinary or medicinal use.
-snip-

You asked someone else what Rhubarb was good for-- I like it just as a sauce with a dab of ice cream, but it also makes a great cobbler -- If you like marmalades at all, here's a simple recipe that is scrumptious- 1lb rhubarb 1 lemon 2.5 cups sugar slice rhubarb thinly - don't peel zest entire lemon and mix with rhubarb mix in sugar & let sit on counter overnight
In the AM, add the juice of the lemon & bring quickly to soft ball stage-- Jar & seal. Good immediately-- better in a month or so.
-snip-

I'm in zone 5-6 & was pleased to find that my flowering Almond not only has gorgeous pink flowers in early spring, it also bears a bunch of almonds. My peach tree is out back, but would look nice next to my Almond. Neither takes any where near the care that my apple trees do & both bear more fruit.
If you get lots of sun there I like my Lovage plant & it takes little care-- Borage never did so well for me, but it is fun to eat the flowers--- and speaking of flowers, be sure to throw in some nasturtiums. The flowers & the leaves are a great addition to summer salads.
Jim
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Northern Illinois, my front yard faces south, a bit to the west.
i
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wrote:

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Whatever won't be in violation of local ordinances when the neighbors complain. : )
I'm only half-honest with that, I live in an area where the favorite past-time is for neighbors to call the city on each other. Nevertheless, last year I grew a bunch of jalapeno, habanero, and other pepper plants in a "flower bed" (wink-wink) in my front yard, and nobody cared at all. If anything, I think that the red and orange peppers were pretty enough that people thought it was neat.
(Of course, you can't get away with that in all areas: Your peppers might just disappear off of the plants before you have a chance to get to them!)
steve
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Peppers Herbs Peas
Anything, actually. You can make a vegetable garden that looks attracticve and is productive.
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says... <Being from a country where people considered their land plots as <source of food rather than entertainment, I have hard times <reconciling myself with gardening decorative plants. I personally <plant only what I can eat. Although I would not mind my spouse <devoting herself to planting flowers and whatnot, this is not <something that I see myself doing. < <My question, rather, is, what varieties of plants that produce FOOD <can be planted in the FRONT yard. < <snip>
Eggplants.
        Bill
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Before you jump in, a few points to consider:
Have you thought about pollination? Your fruit trees and many of your vegetables need to be pollinated in order to bear crops. In many areas, honey bees are in decline, and you may need to depend on wild and solitary bees. A variety of flowering herbs and ornamentals provide much needed food sources for these bees during the summer months.
Have you thought about pest control? Fruit trees, especially apples, are magnets to a variety of pests that can cause a lot of damage to your crops. There are small, beneficial wasps that are predators to these pests (and do NOT sting humans). Again, they need nectar sources throughout the year. For example, I grow aruncus (goatsbeard), that is not edible but attracts an astonishing variety of these small wasps when it blooms. Dill, parsley, and fennel are also good for this purpose, as well as providing food for humans and butterflies.
Birds eat a lot of insect pests, but they too need other food sources, such as ornamental shrubs that produce berries, and they need cover in trees and evergreens to nest in.
Have you thought about economy of scale? I don't grow corn, because the farmer down the road from me does a great job of it, picks it fresh several times a day, and in season I can buy if for $1.50 a dozen. Same thing with potatoes--they are dirt cheap and quite good at the farmer's market. I do grow peppers, even thought I can also buy them as well, because I like varieties it's hard to find locally. Think about how you want to allocate not just your money, but your time and efforts. I tried for years to grow apples, with limited success. It takes a lot of time and attention to get the disease and pest management scheduled properly. I now buy the bulk of my apples, but my trees are still valuable in that they provide wormy apples that keep the resident groundhog fat and satisfied and out of my vegetable garden. The drops also feed a variety of large wasps in the fall that have been patrolling my vegetables all summer. On the other hand, my Asian pears are a great success. They take little care, the fruit is absolutely delicious, and very expensive at the market.
Consider finding out what types of shrubs and flowers are either native or easy care in your area, that are beneficial to wildlife, and planting some even if they are not directly edible. Your goal should be to create a micro-ecosystem that feeds you as well as the birds and the bees.
And it's ok to grow things just because they are beautiful. We need food for the soul as well as the body.
Good luck with your endeavors, Sue
--
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMearthlink.net
Zone 6, South-central PA
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Thanks, I will ask my grandma about pollination. Have not thought of that.
i
SugarChile wrote:

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On 21 Apr 2004 16:36:29 GMT, Ignoramus31046

Any herbs will be beautiful, as well as some peppers and even eggplants have lovely flowers and fruit. Lemon grass, garlic chives...etc.
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Of course it all depends on where you live and the particulars of your yard. There is no reason that the things grown in the back yard won't grown in the front yard. I grew tomato plants among the roses one year. There are some beautiful leafy vegetables. You can grow Swiss chard "bright lights." If you don't care what the yard looks like, then simple grow what you want. Otherwise, look though a seed catalog like Johnny's Seeds and pick out things that look good that you like to eat and will grow in your area under the conditions that you have.
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Ignoramus, since you live in Illinois, why not plant the native American Persimmon tree in your front yard. It will be totally hardy, relatively pest free, will give you delicious fruit every fall - heavier every other fall - and has pretty fall foliage. Other than that, I favor the berry solution - (blueberries, maybe raspberries). and possibly a grape arbor, for concord grapes in your region. Dward fruit trees that are hardy in your region would also be fine. Probably apples would do well, and maybe cherries. Rhubarb would be good in your climate. Also asparagaus is relatively picturesque, and a perennial. Mix a few annual food crops in with these, and you will have a yard that no one will object to.
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Ignoramus31046 said:

Okra -- it's a hibiscus, after all!
Eggplants -- visitor once exclaimed in amazement how beautiful theeggplant 'bushes' in the garden were
Peanuts -- rather pretty plants, with all the food-making work going on underground
Sweet potatoes -- ditto the peanuts
Personally, I think corn (sweet or otherwise) would end up looking rather unkempt. Millet would be a more ornamental grain.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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