I expected more from the Canadians. This is something that should be encouraged, not deterred.
Take a look at Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp's gorgeous front yard kitchen garden in Drummondville, Quebec. The cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, beets, onions, and brussels sprouts and other vegetables grown by the couple helped Beauchamp lose 75 pounds, and Landry 25.
The only problem? It's illegal.
Boing Boing points us to a petition to save the garden, which authorities insist must be removed. The town code states that a vegetable garden can take up 30 percent of a front yard at most, and Landry and Beauchamp's is in violation. They were given two weeks to comply, which means the garden must be drastically scaled back by this Sunday.
The petition reads in part:
Front yard kitchen gardens are not the problem; they're part of the solution to healthier and more sustainable communities. Thanks for helping us to defend them.
CBC News reports that if the couple fails to remove a significant enough portion of their garden, they could expect fines of between $100 and $300 each day. The news site also reveals authorities say neighbors have complained about the garden, but Beauchamp is suspicious:
Beauchamp said no one has complained to him. He said he shares his fresh produce with his neighbours.
"They love it. Everybody is surprised by the kind of taste we can have from fresh vegetables," he said.
The couple said they have no intention of complying with the city's request.
CBC also notes that the city plans to make all front lawn vegetable gardens illegal this fall. The measure would only apply to new gardens, so Landry Beauchamp garden -- assuming they scale it back -- will be perfectly legal.
How does the larger gardening community feel about attempts to remove the garden? Boing Boing has a quote from kitchen garden advocate and expert Roger Doiron: "If this garden is deemed illegal, we're in deep you-know-what."
Read the rest here.
I signed the petition, of course
Yes it is ridiculous.
The law's probably intended to keep people from having scrapyards in their front yards (which many would have if it wasn't for a "neatness rule") so that adjoining properties don't lose any value and the municipality, any taxes. But these people's garden is so neat and well tended it could be a model for suburban gardeners everywhere.
This law needs to be re-written!