Jay wrote:I don't know about the rest of you, but I've always felt that we as Americans waste our land. The American Dream has taught us that we should strive for a home in the suburbs with a nice back yard for our kids to play in. That's a nice thought, but it's something I feel is utterly pointless. The rich people around here buy a bunch of land, turn plop a house on it, and seclude themselves away from their neighbors. Ok, fine, you can do whatever you want with your own land but what's the point of having all that grass? Because it's pretty to look at? Why not throw a few cows or sheep on the land so you can at least get some milk out of the deal? Plant a large garden. Turn it into a mini-farm. Make the land work for you since you're paying taxes on it anyway.
My own hometown is like this. Pure suburbia with row after row of homes with a front yard, and a back yard, and the home set a few dozen paces off of the street. Somehow we've convinced ourselves that this is the ideal setup. Nevermind that the homes only have a few yards of space between them, we've convinced ourselves that this is our castle, our fortress of solitude. Why? Why not build the homes closer together, create more space, and plant large gardens that will actually give you fresh ingredients to eat instead of spending thousands of dollars at the supermarket every year? I've always felt this way, but watching an episode of No Reservations on Sardinia tonight kind of reinforced it. I want to raise pigs and turn them into yummy prosciutto. I want to grow my own tomatoes and berries and everything else. Damn the kids and their backyard, they can walk the few blocks to the park.
Does anyone else feel this way? Maybe it's just because I'm a foodie, but American food culture to me blows, and I think much of it has to do with the distance that most Americans have from their food. There's a disconnect when all you see is row after row of neatly displayed produce at the supermarket. Boring.
1) Large farms are often more environmentally efficient than small farms. That said, I still grow tomatoes and some vegetables, but I wouldn't raise cattle even if I had the room.
2) America is not wanting for land to build homes on. The only reason they're built close together is smaller spaces of land are cheaper, you don't have to stretch as much utilities between them and the developers/landowners can make more money. Let people built out a ways if they want and have a bit of privacy as they can afford it. Not everybody wants to listen to their neighbors' shit or deal with neighborhood politics all the time.
3) Why do you promote small yard sizes yet encourage gardening and livestock farming? At any rate, it's illegal to keep livestock in many suburb settings.
4) Suburb culture is not really representative of American culture as a whole.
5) Well, you could always move somewhere where food is scarce and the people are starving if you don't like supermarkets.