The little blue house actually has a teeny yard but the lot to the east which is owned by the same landlord is empty and he includes it with the rental of the little blue house. Due to the size of the house and parking arrangements, this lot is very seldom used by the occupants of the little blue house. And since the landlord has lots of problems with tenants mowing when they are supposed to I think I have a shot. I'm hoping to trade mowing in the coming season for use of the land.
One of the main things I need to do is call and have things like utilities marked off. This is necessary to see what area can even be used. It's not a large lot so where the old house and it's underground utilities may make it unusable for anything but raised bed gardening. (which may be better anyway - less weeds!)
I'm not sure what I want to use it for I've had a few ideas. The cheapest option is to use it for staples like tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, pumpkins, etc. I can buy seeds for these types of things easily out at Walmart cheap. Also then if kids tear it up then I'm only out a minor amount. But staple type garden items are usually easier to grow and preserve.
One other option is to buy some fruit trees and plant them there for future use. This is WAY more of an investment and a much longer term pay off. But boy would it be nice! And unless someone cut them down, they could be enjoyed by many for years. I think something that has fruits that when on the ground would be easily run over by a typical lawn mower would go over with the landlord better. The tree would then have more of a chance to live longer. Because let's face it, we may not be here to harvest the fruits every year and who wants to run over an apple or a peach? So I'm thinking more along the lines of cherry or crab apple. Plus with something that stays small/short then it won't be hacked on by the utility company either. I know that there is no way a couple of kids are going to pick all the little fruits off 4-6 trees like those. Heck it's hard to do when you want to and your an adult!
Another thing I am slightly worried about is adults or kids stealing the food. I'm only slightly worried about it because I'm sure I would give willingly if asked but I'm not sure they will ask. Plus, I thought about using the produce grown here for the local food pantry or to give away free in some way. So would it matter if someone who needed it took without permission? I guess that's not my worry. I'm more worried someone taking more than their able to use and letting it go to waste.
I'm really wanting to help out the community with some gardening. I'm hoping it will inspire more people to do their own gardening and eat healthier. Not that I'm all that concerned with the eating healthier LOL! But I do know that MANY people who are on food stamps can't afford large amounts of fresh produce no matter what the season is and the local farmers market does NOT take the food stamp card here. So alot of people who want to eat more healthy aren't able to. From what I can tell not many in the area even TRY to garden and so many of them could. I think showing by example along with telling everyone I can is the best I can do for now.
These are all some ideas I've had lately. If life stays calm I'm going to put them into use =) If life doesn't then who knows?