My wonderful and beloved neighbor, Susie Chandler, aka Susie Next Door, has decided to build vegetable gardens in her front yard. Urban farming is in these days, with good reason, considering, for instance, the lax labeling of our foods. For Susie, an excellent gardener and designer, all this comes naturally: her father is a farmer, her grandmother was a botanist.

This morning the temperature could not have been more than 40, but there was Susie, bravely and cheerfully spreading mulch and manure. I stepped out for a nano-minute, shivering, to ask if her lawn mower has headlights (she was mowing last night as it grew dark) and to compliment her on the exquisite color of the mulch, then skittered indoors, forgetting to take a picture of her. It’s now early afternoon, not much warmer and Susie’s had the good sense to retreat indoors (for a while anyway). Nevertheless, I worked up the courage to take a few shots of the new raised-beds-in-process. It’s exciting to have such bounty right next door at the hands of this bountiful woman.

Susie's raised-beds-in-process taken from my front porch

Susie’s raised-beds-in-process taken from my front porch

Raised vegetable beds with scooter

Raised vegetable beds with scooter

Mud, mud glorious mud!

Mud, mud glorious mud!

When I moved to Boulder, the town was trying to shed its Mayberry RFD identity and thus began outlawing chickens or any livestock in people’s gardens downtown, except those grandfathered in — there was a lovely horse in someone’s yard three blocks down. Happily, while Boulder still has bourgeois pretenses of grandeur (and rather conflicting environmental policies), it has apparently welcomed the new urban-farming and poultry-raising trends.

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