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Canadians Michel Beauchamp and Josee Landry designed their own garden, in their Drummondville, Quebec, front yard. New front-yard vegetable gardens are sprouting up all over, and gardeners are finding themselves championing causes beyond fresh broccoli and sun-ripened tomatoes. Kitchen Gardeners International took up the couple’s cause with a petition that received thousands of signatures and made an appropriately big impression on the local city council.
As they cultivated their beets and beans, the two first-time gardeners discovered a world-wide community of helpful and supportive individuals and organizations.
Front-yard vegetable gardens start conversations, bring neighbors together, and advance the cause of local, small-scale vegetable gardening, Dorion says. In January, when temperatures in Drummondville were well below zero, Landry and Beauchamp were still eating preserved, canned, and stored vegetables from their summer garden, and savoring their new passion for urban agriculture. Marty Ross is a garden journalist and gardener who lives in Kansas City, MO, and Virginia’s Tidewater region.

Josee Landry and Michel Beauchamp of Drummondville, Quebec, ripped out their lawn to install a stylish raised-bed garden in their front yard last year and landed themselves in an international controversy. They started a blog, established a Facebook page, and they’re working with collaborators on a free e-book (it is in French) to help and encourage other vegetable gardeners, sharing their story and as much gardening advice as they can.
They’re planning to grow all their crops from organic seeds and to install rain barrels. The couple took on vegetable gardening as a mid-life project, with the intention of eating healthier food and losing some weight, but in the midst of a pleasant summer of home-grown bounty they were told that city codes required 30 percent grass out front, and that they must reduce the size of their garden or pay substantial fines. Landry and Beauchamp were allowed to keep their garden, and, with their help (and KGI’s), local laws restricting front-yard gardens are being rewritten. Beauchamp would like to plant fruit trees in the back yard; he is also considering beekeeping. I’ll be darned if I’ll put my vegetable garden in there so they can pick their own vegetables to boot!

A raised bed for growing greens was added to the front yard; last year asparagus was added.
Out front we want forms that don’t change much through the year but color that does, as opposed to the other sections of our suburban lot that continuously does with perennials and annuals.
It’s a high compliment and recognition of a property which has only a narrow band of grass undulating down the center of the side yard.

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