i am hoping that at least one of the ways i am trying to embed this you-tube video will work, because i would love for you to see a ted-x talk from a new-old friend. her name is shawna coronado, and she reached out to me a long time ago when i was doing battle with oak park over my front yard veggie garden. since then, she has become quite the celebrity, and when you hear her talk, you will realize why. she has really upped the game for us front yard gardeners who just grow a few plants- hahahaha! seriously, though, she gives you a look at some of what is possible when we believe in ourselves enough to follow our dreams and not be afraid. i watched a news clip about her garden case (yes, another front yard gardener in trouble with her city…) and a city employee said, “when in doubt, ask before you plant.” that’s great if you are a city bureaucrat whose main concern is CYA, but not so great if you are a forward-thinking person who has a vision of the future. government workers are mired in a mentality that if something is not explicitly allowed, then it is prohibited; forward thinkers and dreamers know that if something is not explicitly prohibited, then it is possible.
for the record, i did ask before i planted, and that’s how i got on my city’s radar. i was told there was nothing on the books about veggies in the front yard- which was, and still is, completely true. i was told that since nobody had ever had a vegetable garden in the front yard before, i probably shouldn’t do it- which was, and still is, completely false. i was told that decorative plantings were okay, which left the oak park city planner feeling like he told me explicitly not to plant vegetables and left me feeling like i had a green light as long as i made it look “decorative” (whatever the heck that meant…). so, i’m not really sure about the “ask before you grow” standard.
what i am sure about, though, is that shawna is addictive and that once you watch her you will want to see more. so, wish me luck on the posting of the you-tube. i’m hoping at the very least that it will post a link. here goes… (completely unrelated, but quite important: here is a link to the petition, for those who are looking: https://www.change.org/petitions/government-stop-arresting-people-for-growing-their-own-garden?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign)