🔘 Daily Notes .6 - Neighbors
How farming vegetables in the front yard leads to cultural revolution
🔘 Daily Notes chronicles my unedited thoughts at the moment, from day to day. This series will end at 1.0, or 10 total posts 🍵
Note: I decided to slow down the post rate because writing a thing a day, while possible, just seems unnecessary to me
Something I may never understand is how in all the suburbs I’ve ever been, everyone is suspicious if not afraid of their neighbors. Even in the midwest where everyone is friendly people in the suburbs or the nice neighborhoods in town are afraid or seem to ignore the fact that they have neighbors. No one wants to know each other, when they live next to each other, in all the suburbs I’ve ever been in. There is a kind of hello in the suburbs I’ve been in where it’s an aggressive hello, and I’ve never seen it any other place really. At least in the country people will just stare at you if they wonder why you’re there, or they’ll have a sign up or some kind of threatening posture. But in the suburbs I’ve been in there isn’t really a threat it’s more just a general malaise and a weird sad look that most people seem to have.
It seems that there is a strange idea about strangers and how if you don’t know someone that person is automatically suspicious. And even someone who lives next to you for a decade is a stranger, and thus still suspicious. In all the suburbs I’ve been in it’s like at any moment a stranger who you’ve seen drive away to work every day for the last 10 years might suddenly go rogue and break into your house and kidnap your dog, post ransom by hacking the HOA blog and ask for it to be paid exactly in skittles of only one color. And what a pain in the ass that would be—you’d probably have to find a savant on eBay who hordes lime green skittles or whatever color the ransom is in and pay them a high price that’s not even close to market value.
I remember a positive story about a neighborhood I’ve been in, where a guy turned his front lawn into a garden, and he was always out there, farming on his vegetables. So naturally people would walk by all day as he gardened his veggies and ask him what he’s doing and he’d hand them a cucumber and a squash and a bright red tomato and they would say something like “Golly,
after 15 years
I never even knew your name…”
And then soon enough he was gardening vegetables in their yard, and in the yard behind his house and Lo and Behold the project got a grant and suddenly had a name and he was farming vegetables in 10 neighbors yards—and it wasn’t even a business, it was just for the veg and the stop-bys and the hand-offs and I even think it’s still going strong after 10 years.
I guess that’s what happens when everyone stops acting like everyone else is suspicious or from another planet and they let a neighbor give them a squash and say hello to him and all it took was one guy named Tim who had an idea to grow tomatoes in his front yard and say hello to people who walked by and then everyone on that street had more of what they needed right next to where they walked.