The right to garden

Do you think that we have a right to grow our own food? Well, apparently not all countries do…

I have just read two astonishing stories about Americans being prevented from growing herbs, vegetables and fruits in their front gardens: one in Ferguson Missouri and one in Tulsa Oklahoma. In a country where residents have a right to bear arms, they appear not to have a right to bear spades.

Suddenly the UK seems like a very liberal place to live.

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  1. Any room over for a few of us “tired and oppressed”? Thanks for the share/ comment.

    • Ah, how the tables have turned!
      But seriously, good luck with this… I just cannot believe that anyone would prevent you from trying to grow your own food.

    • I’m so incensed by this I’ve just e-mailed the White House – if Michelle Obama can grow vegetables in the garden there (and she’s a tenant) I really feel that you should be able to grow them too.

  2. We have been brainwashed in this country to believe that the only eye-pleasing landscaping is neatly clipped grass and well contained hybridized flowers. Veggies belong way out back because they are ‘unsightly’. I work in a garden center in the spring–this year I had a woman ask me if you could just let a tomato sprawl–she wanted home-grown tomatoes, but wasn’t allowed in her neighborhood to grow anything edible! She thought she could get away with one lying on the ground behind some bushes! Sadly stories like this abound!

  3. I live in Sacramento, California. My daughter and her family as well as the two grandmas (one is me), live in a nice neighborhood (a “good zip code area” as people here say), and I would regularly ride my bike around the neighborhood. The front yard of one house I always admired. Instead of the ubiquitous lawn and a few trees, the family had put in an amazing vegetable and flower garden! It was beautiful! Then one day I cycled by and saw the garden had died! Turned out one of the neighbors thought the family should have a lawn and tree (like the rest of the folks there), and poured some sort of weed kill solution all over their plants! I couldn’t believe people could be both that cruel and stupid.

    • I just love vegetable gardens – lawns are dull and pointless unless you want to play on them. We used to have lawn, now it’s all gone and there’s fruit, veg, chickens, a greenhouse and a small patio to sit on… and a ‘meadow’ at the front which,if I was in the US, ‘code enforcement would have come and cut down despite the wild flowers in it.
      As I say, it makes me realise how tolerant we are here in the UK.

  4. walrissa

     /  June 20, 2012

    Federal law states that people have the right to provide food for their family.

    • Clearly the ‘code enforcement’ folks don’t know this!
      I’m learning such a lot about US law and culture as a result of this post… please keep educating me!

  5. Crazy, huh? I blogged about this very thing almost a year ago. You’ll be happy to know that we have gardened vegetables in our front garden before. Oklahoma and Missouri are not a good representation of the entire country.

    • So please there is some sanity! I guess any publicity for these poor people must help. I haven’t heard back from the White House, though.

      • I imagine they get hundreds of thousands of posts, but hope you will eventually get a reply.

        Our fifty states vary considerably in population and beliefs. The east and west coast (New York, California, New England states tend toward more social liberalism. Some, not all southern states still struggle with racism and equality. Also, the poorer the state, the less forward-thinking the legislation. Lack of education seems to go hand in hand with that, sad to say.


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