Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Posts Tagged ‘richmond annex’

Our Winter Vegi List

Folks in Anita’s winter vegi classes were interested in what specific varieties to grow, so I thought I’d post the list of what we’re growing in our Richmond Annex (fog belt, zones 9b and 17) garden for this winter. Everything we’re growing is a variety that we’ve done at least one of the past three winters here, which seems a little boring and unadventurous, but should produce reliably.

    Favas Beans
    Snap Peas ‘Cascadia’
    Beat Greens “Lutz Salad Leaf’
    Romaine Lettuce ‘Freckles’
    ‘De Cicco’ Broccoli
    Yellow Onion Sets
    Garlic ‘Nootka Rose’
    Kale ‘Dwarf Blue Curled’ and ‘Dinosaur’
    Mustard ‘Red Giant’
    Miner’s Lettuce

A pretty standard list, everything reliable. Alpine Strawberries, a Rocoto Pepper, Regular and Garlic Chives, and a couple of Blueberries are the year-round residents. We’re still harvesting Celery, Leeks, and Zucchini’s, and we’ll probably plant out more Snap Peas and Kale or maybe Rainbow Chard in those spots in February.

Front Yard Vegi Gardens Are Okay (in Richmond, CA)

dodge vegematic with winter squash

Rumors have been circulating that fruits and vegetables might be illegal to grow in the front yards and hellstrips of some Bay Area cities, but the city of Richmond investigated and found that there are no ordinances against them. The investigation came from the top, from our mayor, Gayle Mclaughlin.

‘“If it is indeed a Richmond law, I would like to ask the city attorney’s office to change/cancel this ordinance and bring it to council for a vote ASAP. I would be happy to sponsor such an ordinance change.” 

Assistant City Attorney Mary J. Renfro came up with the definitive answer, reached after consulting the city’s Health, Public Safety and Welfare and Zoning codes. 

While some legal provisions require yard maintenance and “prohibit nuisance conditions that might attract trespassers and vermin,” none of them suggests that it is impermissible to grow fruit or other edible plants in the front yard.

It’s good that the mayor checked on vegi gardens and established that they’re okay, because there has been a front yard vegi garden movement in my Richmond Annex neighborhood for the last couple of years. Six gardens within a block of each other grow vegetables (these are small blocks with 2-5 houses per block, so that’s a high percentage) and, a couple of blocks away from them, another one converted their lawn to vegetables three months ago. 


onions and juniper

The first of the gardens, the one that began the trend, is a front yard of veggies grown in raised beds of mortared stonework from the juniper/ivy era of California landscaping. It is far and away the tidiest of the gardens, and it produces an impressive quantity of food throughout the year. Even when large sections are only bare dirt and small seedlings or when the plants get raggedy at the end of their harvest period, the walls and the orderly planting style and to some extent the pom-pommed junipers always make it clear that this is a well-maintained garden.

carrots and juniper

Photos of more gardens are below.