Sidewalk Veggies


Many of my neighbors make good use of their front lawns by growing needed vegetables rather than wasting water on decorative grass. But it was still surprising to see this large Chinese squash/melon (?) hanging over the sidewalk. Hope this doesn’t make it into the Fallen Fruit maps, someone’s gonna be pissed if this bit of work disappeared. Lincoln Heights has many productive front yards, they’re like the Edible Estates only without the art pretensions and manifestos!
Click ahead for another pic.


The peach tree doubles as a trellis. How many points is that worth in the “carbon footprint” bingo?

4 thoughts on “Sidewalk Veggies”

  1. Lincoln Heights’ asian residents make the best use of their front yards. I admired their gardening skills so much, I decided to make my own front yard garden.

    There is on thing that kind of annoys me about the way the asian families plant – they place all the plants up on top of a hill of rich soil. In Southern California, I thought it was important to place the plants in a furrow of rich soil – so that water can collect at the base of the plant and stay there.

    When I was studying the people of the Southwest, the natives’ plants were always planted in lowest parts of furrows to consolidate water. This was especially true of people growing food in the desert areas of our region.

    Do the asian peeps plant this way out of tradition, or is it that their plants require this style of watering?

    Oh, the mysteries of Lincoln Heights.

  2. In other parts of the Southwest, the soil is very sandy so it makes sense to plant in a furrow to collect water. The water drains very quickly in the desert.
    Here in Northeast LA, we have super heavy clay soil (smaller, finer and more compact particles), so raised bed planting helps aerate the soil and increases drainage. If the soil isn’t amended or raised, the roots have a harder time growing and there is greater chance of rot as the water collects around the base of the plants and just sits there.
    The Asian families obviously know what they are doing. They have some of the healthiest, most productive vegetable garden around. I wish I could better communicate with them to get their fertilizing tips.
    -former Master Gardener

  3. The front yard farms are probably my favorite thing about Lincoln Heights. I tell people from other parts of town about them and they just look at me like they have no idea.

    If I could ever get things to actually live in grow in my backyard, I would turn the dirt lot in my front yard into a productive garden. Just two generations ago, my peeps were farmers and here I am and I can’t get more than a few tomatoes a basil plant to stay alive. Embarrassing!

  4. These gardens exist pretty much everywhere you have Vietnamese immigrants. It would be good to promote this cultural practice more, because I think a lot of people don’t look on it favorably.

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