The Edible Front Yard, by Ivette Soler
I want to start by saying that I am a huge fan of Ivette Soler aka The Germinatrix. I have interviewed her and have been friends with her via social media for several years. She is a total delight--funny, irreverent, compassionate, a brilliant landscape designer and a great writer. Fortunately for all of us, she has written a book that uses and showcases all of her considerable talents.
The Edible Front Yard is a delicious book that can help you transform your outdoor space from useless into a productive and environmentally sensitive area filled not only with nutrition but beauty and interest as well. Ivette Soler doesn't want you just to farm in your front yard, she wants you to do it responsibly and with style.
Even the first sentence of the book's preface, Ivette throws down the gauntlet. "A front yard revolution is at our fingertips and on or doorsteps. Its time has come." She goes on to say, "The traditional front yard--the useless, boring, outdated lawn adorned by a few shade trees and perhaps some lackluster shrubbery--pales in comparison to these vibrant, productive spaces where growing food is serious business." This woman is not messing around.
When Ivette talks about front yard gardens she isn't talking about just throwing some tomatoes into your perennial gardens, she is talking about re-thinking the whole concept of what a front yard can be. She also believes that beauty matters and that design and style should be integral to creating an edible front yard.
The book covers a broad swath of topics and gives practical advice on how to transform your current space into something very special. You will learn where to start, what you need to do it and then the steps you will need to take.
There are great segments that provide lots of design advice along with plant palettes and advice on color and texture. There is a chapter devoted to "Expanding Our Edible Palette," which lists and describes many plants that are not commonly known to be edible. Juniper is listed with suggestions for how to grow it and how to use it including the tidbit that the berries "may even help ease the pain of gout." Who knew?
This is truly a beautiful book. The many photographs, by Anna Summa, are illustrative and lovely. There is so much information and inspiration packed in, that it can be overwhelming at times, but if you take the time to really read it, The Edible Front Yard might transform the way you garden and the way you think about not just your front yard, but your whole environment.