Sunday, July 22, 2007

Scenes from an urban farm

When we first bought the house, both of my parents commented on the backyard of the house behind us. I specifically remember my dad saying something to the effect of, "I know where you can get a lot of shit." My mom consistently grimaced.

You see, two rottweilers live back there and from what we could tell back in February, they were free to fill up the yard with poop. No one picked it up and as the snow melted and the rain came pouring down in the spring, the backyard was one giant puddle of shitty mud. Here's a shot from a snowy April day:

We had suspicions though, due to the set up, that our neighbors were actually great. We suspected they were gardeners, of the put-everyone-to-shame category. Later in the month, after that last snowfall, they started to work the ground. Not only did they turn over the soil in their own yards, but they did the same in the two yards to the right as well:

Throughout the rest of Spring and now into Summer, we've been watching their bounty take over. It's really not fair at this point to say that they are gardeners--how trite! how self-indulgent!--because in all actuality, they are farmers:

Look at those rows! This is the third or fourth different vegetable they've harvested from the middle lot.

On the fence they're growing squash and that tree in the left corner is full of ripe pears. Show offs!

So you're probably wondering, who are these neighbors? We are too. We know they're old and we think they're Polish. We know they water their masterpiece every day and get lots of deliveries. We know they walk very slowly. We've never exchanged words.

Stay tuned though, dear readers, for I'm hatching a plan to become best friends!


Mike said...

Its the west side...chances are they're Italian! My grandparents had a similar garden when they lived on the West Side too.

denny said...

4 houses behind you have the same owner, which is why the yards could be dug-up at the same time. And yes, quite an Italian name! (Which I won't mention, but it's easy to research)

m a c said...

Whitney and Steven! I hope all is well. I love reading your blog and especially this one. Talk to you soon. - Love Meaghan