One of my reader’s comments about wanting to grow his own veggies made me think of a friend of mine who is in a battle with her Homeowner’s Association.My friend is a nutritionist and
grows almost all of her own food – or she knows where it comes from. She eats no meat and her grains and veggies are from well-researched sources. She turned her front yard into a veggie garden with lettuce, Swiss chard and spinach mixing with herbs.
Until recently her only complaint with the HOA is that they authorized pesticide and herbicide spraying of the grass in front of her house between the sidewalk and street. Every time they came by, she had to run out there and tell them to bypass her front yard because she had food growing there. Well, a couple of months ago, the HOA caught up with her unconventional front yard. They told her a front yard had to be 90% grass and 10% “other plants.” They gave her so many weeks to transform it back to the conventional look. Because of this, she is going to sell her house and look for something without an HOA.
My husband and I recently went to a Self-Reliance Expo and the organizers said everyone should take out their lawn and plant a vegetable garden. Growing your own food is one of the basics of preparedness and self-reliance. Sometimes, though, this idea can be tough if you have a Homeowner’s Association to contend with.
My daughter got her degree in architecture and as part of the degree, she took sustainability classes. She learned that while many people are pushing for a re-definition of what a front yard “should” look like, it is an uphill battle with neighbors and developers who want what they are used to – grass and a couple trees and maybe a few shrubs.
Here in Texas, the grass all turns brown in the summer because of the intense heat. The summer before last, grass and trees just died in many yards because we got no rain. If we were able to dispense with a grass yard, which takes lots of water to keep alive, there are dozens of native Texas plants which thrive in that heat with very little water. When water is such a valuable resource and is expensive to boot, to me it makes sense to plant the Texas native plants. Texas SmartScape.com offers literally dozens of choices for landscaping with native plants.
We don’t have an HOA in our neighborhood but I think the neighbors would protest if we removed our grass and went native. Rather than fight that battle, we keep our gardening efforts to our back yard. Lucky for us, we have a fairly sizable back yard.Yesterday, in fact, I turned a flower bed in the back yard into a vegetable patch which is pictured at the top right. The rocks and pieces of wood are in there for now to keep our cats out. Once the plants get bigger, I can remove those.
Whenever we have looked for a new home, we have avoided the ones with an HOA. These organizations have their uses I’m sure but who wants to check with a governing body before you can paint your house or fly the American flag? In fact, there are entire websites devoted to HOA Horror Stories.
In other news, I am having a very hard time keeping my kitten from stealing the dishtowel which usually hangs on the oven door. He loves to make a flying leap at it, bring it down and roll around with it like he’s having a kitty fight. I keep replacing it out of habit but I need to learn to just put it on the counter until he grows out of it-lol
If you’re interested in Self-Reliance topics, check out Self-Reliance Expo.com and see if one of their events is coming to a town near you.
Do you live in a home governed by a Homeowner’s Association? What’s your opinion?