City Officials Are Waging a War on Gardens

from It’s hard to imagine what could be controversial or even illegal about planting a couple of rows of tomato plants, green peppers and a cucumber vine … but depending on where those vegetables are planted, they have been the subject of great debate – even prosecution. Across the United States and Canada a war is being waged against urban homeowners who want to plant gardens on their own property. From Quebec to Oklahoma to New Jersey to Michigan and Georgia, people who have the “audacity” to try growing their own fresh, organic foods are being forced to pull up their plants, or in some cases, have been forced by the city to dig them up. In Drummondville, Quebec, Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp planted what some have called “a gorgeous and meticulously-maintained edible landscape full of healthy fruits and vegetables.” Rather than planting grass or ornamental flowers, this couple chose to use their land to grow food (in a rather attractive way, I might add … the picture of their garden is in the featured article). The “problem,” the town says, is that a vegetable garden may only take up 30 percent of a yard’s area, and theirs takes up nearly the whole space. Due to this town code, they’ve been ordered to remove their garden in two weeks or less. If it sounds ridiculous to you that a city government would spend time and money to pursue and even prosecute a resident for — of all things — planting a vegetable garden, be prepared to be amazed, as this is not an isolated case.

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