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Amy Hoak’s Home Economics: Why farmland may become a more popular neighborhood amenity than a golf course

Amy Fahey tends to a backyard garden at her suburban Chicago home, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, peppers, Brussels sprouts, beans and herbs. But never squash.

“Three years in a row I’ve been struggling to grow squash,” she said. The reason it won’t take, she thinks: There aren’t enough bees to pollinate the plants. “We’ve killed off parts of the environment that could naturally make this happen,” said the retired J.P. Morgan JPM, -1.23% executive who lives in Elmhurst, Ill., with her husband and teenage daughter.

But the neighborhood in which the Faheys are building a home offers new hope.

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