Bianca Knows Best ... and Helps a Gardener 

Dear Bianca,

With spring fast approaching, I've been thinking about planting an organic vegetable garden. Given the economic situation, it makes sense to start growing my own food. Can save money and help the Earth by eating locally.

However, I share my yard with three others. It's an old Midtown house that's been converted into apartments, and we all share a fenced-in backyard. There's plenty of room for a garden, but after talking with my neighbors, one man vetoed the idea. He likes to leave his dog in the backyard and he didn't want to be inhibited from doing so because of my garden.

The other two neighbors loved the garden idea and even offered to help. How can I convince the dog guy that a garden would benefit all of us?

Aspiring Gardener

Dear Aspiring,

Gardening is a wonderful way to provide fresh, organic food for yourself, your friends, and your family. And if there's anything we should all learn from this economic mess we're in, it's how to get back to our, um, roots.

However, since you're not a homeowner with full control of your backyard, you have a few hurdles to jump through. First, you should contact your landlord. He or she may not like the idea of you digging up the dirt on the property. But with the landlord's approval, it's simply a matter of convincing your stubborn neighbor.

If the yard is large enough, you could suggest building a small fence around the garden to protect it from the neighbor's dog. Though I will say that I once put up a fence around my backyard garden, and it didn't stop my pooch from peeing through the fence onto my pepper plants (maybe that's why they all died).

If the neighbor doesn't buy that idea, talk to him about the benefits of a garden. Explain that it would provide not only you, but also all the people in your building with fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, etc. That will save everyone money, and as you mentioned in your letter, it also benefits the Earth. Eating locally means reducing food miles. Most conventional grocery store produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to plate!

If that doesn't work, you might consider gardening at Shelby Farms Park. They provide free garden plots (and free water) on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more at

Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment



Hungry Memphis

The Nine Now Open

Fly On The Wall Blog

What’s Kids in the Hall Co-Founder Kevin McDonald Doing in Memphis?

Hungry Memphis

Gordon Ramsay's in Memphis to Save a Restaurant!

News Blog

TVA CEO Set to Retire in April

News Blog

Leaders Work to Revamp Public Art Guidelines

Tiger Blue

Three Thoughts on Tiger Football

Tiger Blue

#22 LSU 85, Tigers 76

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

This Week At The Cinema: Indie Memphis Winners and BTS

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Lose First Home Game to Utah Jazz 96 - 88


More by Bianca Phillips

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation