I love growing plants. Flowers, herbs, vegetables, all are great. I wish I could grow more. And thankfully where I live the only real restrictions on my gardening is the amount of space I have, the sunlight I get, and the date of the first and last frosts. Oh, and deer.
In some places however there there are horrible problems with pests. Bureaucratic, taxpayer funded, control freak pests.
Armed with a newly amended zoning ordinance geared toward home aesthetics, Miami Shores ordered the couple to uproot their vegetable garden or pay $50 a day in fines. The village would tolerate fruit trees, flowers, or even plastic pink flamingoes in the front yard, but the veggies had to go. The couple couldn’t afford the fines, so they reluctantly agreed. And then took Miami Shores to court.
The Miami Shores vegetable standoff is part of a nationwide turf war, pitting locavores, environmentalists, and property rights activists against bureaucratic busybodies. In Orlando, a couple faced $500 in fines per day for growing lettuce instead of lawn. Ferguson, Missouri—yes, that Ferguson—cited a stay-at-home dad for daring to plant a garden in his front yard. The Detroit suburb of Oak Park, Michigan, threatened to send resident Julie Bass to jail for three months for her gardening.
“I find it almost incomprehensible that in 2015 there is even a controversy about whether people should be allowed to grow food,” Bass says. “That’s pretty absurd.”
And I’m sorry but a nice garden is way prettier than a lawn. Not to mention usually a good indication of rising property values.