Front Yard Farmer

Front Yard Farmer

Featuring: Trathen Heckman, and his neighbors Mark and Roger
Location: Trathen’s Front Yard Petaluma, CA

A Front Yard Farmer: One who transitions a conventional, ornamental and sterile plot of earth into a place to grow food, medicine and wonder (this lush, productive, resilient and beautiful urban ecosystem also inspires and engages the neighbors).

What is Trathen growing? Dino kale, strawberries, amaranth, chocolate persimmons, Napa cabbage, Cape Gooseberry. Trathen helped plant 628 gardens in a single weekend.

Trathen's neighbor, Roger is growing chocolate persimmon, Napa Cabbage, Cape gooseberry, and Lapin cherries

Lose your lawn (or driveway) and create and edible garden!
1. If you have a lawn, poke holes in it with a pitchfork and sprinkle rock powders to mineralize the earth (for driveways go to #3)
2. Wet and cover the lawn with cardboard and add 1 foot of mulch (use mallard manure if available)
3. For driveways, start with 6-18 inches of wood chips, then add a thin layer of compost and coffee grounds to enhance soil fertility and organic matter
4. Shape into beds and fill in paths with wood chips
5. Plant joyously (don’t forget to water)

Trathen says that self-sufficiency begins with reclaiming sufficient sense of self. Caring for and connecting to the earth while producing beautiful, nutrient rich food and meeting more of our needs is a vital aspect of becoming self-sufficient. Any food and medicine you can grow, even in a pot on a window sill, will grow you more whole and self-reliant, like this garden does for Trathen.