Saturday, January 5, 2013

Productive Property vs. the Lawn Police

image source
Karen De Coster, Contributor
Activist Post

It’s amazing to see the number of individuals who are being persecuted for using their own property for productive purposes. This house and garden in Florida violated an “appearance code.” Appearance is always subjective, that is, until the government perverts definitions to enforce its arbitrary laws.

Individuals who defy the crazed American Lawn Worship Culture and instead plant useful, organic gardens are the new outlaws. Here’s a case from earlier this year, in a suburb near where I live, where a woman was treated like a criminal for growing contraband in her front yard: tomatoes, zucchinis, and peppers. Here’s how the lawn became a garden:
Bass got the idea to plant a garden in front yard after it was torn up over a busted sewage pipe.
'There were piles of dirt outside and we knew we had to do something,' Bass said. 'We looked into putting in sod but it was shockingly expensive, so we starting looking into other books to do something a little more cost effective. We found pictures in a bunch of different library books of garden beds. It was perfect and we had a blank canvas.'
City ordinances usually require plantings in the front yard to be “suitable plant material.” Suitable according to a strange culture that worships chintzy, worthless lawns in place of innovative productive land use.

A neighbor on my street has a front yard that looks like a trash can flew over the house and emptied on the lawn – the whole square is littered with stupid plastic trinkets, dumb decorations, plexiglass, broken fencing, and unmaintained plantings. It looks like a trailer park dumping ground, and yet, it is all perfectly legal and city approved. The cars up on blocks are okay, as well as the front yard-turned-patio-bricks for the purposes of parking the family rust bucket on wheels. Yet a garden in my front yard – and I’d love to have one – would bring me citations and the threat of handcuffs.

In Massachusetts, these criminals were forced to disassemble their ingenious tomato garden. Here is an interesting quote from the article.
That, says Emily Broad Lieb, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, is a problem caused in part by 'age-old zoning rules' bumping into people’s desire to grow their own food.
'It’s such a human thing,' she says. 'It’s not like they’re building a space shuttle on their front lawn.'
She sees the Newton case as a microcosm of a problem that is popping up more and more, from battles over rooftop and urban gardens to bureaucracy surrounding farmers markets. Modern laws often jettison agriculture and food production to backyards and far-flung rural areas, she says. But with individuals and communities now interested in taking back some or all of their food production, “people are starting to realize that we have to change the rules.”
This is not a uniquely American stupidity – Canada is also turning gardeners into lawbreakers. This beautiful garden in Quebec was also targeted by local totalitarians.

Authorities Seek to Destroy Couple's Immaculate Edible Landscape

Karen De Coster, CPA is a libertarian accounting/finance professional and freelance writer covering food freedom, regulatory abuses and free market economics. Please visit and support her personal blog at and follow her on Twitter @karendecoster.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.


Earl said...

Hi Karen,
Wonderful article. Thank you for highlighting the plight of those whose desire to be self reliant brings them unwanted attention and harassment from government.
All the Best,

Anonymous said...

It is my firm belief that the word "stupid" should be applied much more often.

m said...

People in American and Canada are, purposely, being dumbed down so they will be easier to control.

Anonymous said...

Can't put oath breakers in prison for life when we are busy fighting locally with BAD LAWS to be able to do jack about the big boys wearing multiple hats like the UN/CFR/AIPAC/PNAC

There's a PATTERN here.

turning gardeners into lawbreakers
turning gun owners into lawbreakers
turning fireplace owners into lawbreakers
turning pet owners...
turning smokers...
turning drivers...
turning milk farmers...
turning guitar manufacturers...
turning cannabis patients...

Did you know that if a thief parks a stolen car in your driveway and you move it (so you can get your car out and go to WORK!!) and get caught you will get arrested.

I could go on, but it's redundant and I am sick of hearing it myself. Things just getting worse and worse now.

Anonymous said...

people that enforce these laws should be diagnosed with a mental disorder and be hit with a ball of their own feces.

escapefromobamastan said...

Growing food means freedom from THEM. They lose control. Just look at what the bolsheviks (funded by New York bankers) did to the Russians, and especially the Ukranians -- control and theft of their assets through starvation.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I am for all of the freedoms we are accustomed to in this country. However if one moves into a subdivision that has rules governing what you can and cant do with your lawn, then one has to abide by the rules. They are not applied arbitrarily they are in the covenants of that subdivision. You shouldnt be allowed to go willie nillie with "your" yard just because you decide to have a garden. If your subdivision doesnt allow for this then too bad, move to the country. Know the rules and follow them. This is what is wrong with this country, people feel the rules shouldnt apply to them. I see this every day with, parking, smoking, canabis, cell phones etc etc. Follow the rules and shut up !!! What is so damn hard about that?

Anonymous said...

“suitable plant material.”
Can be any plant by definition. Of course they forget on purpose- "Suitable to who"?

Anonymous said...

If we don't put a stop to this now it will only get worse. They are the ones in rebellion not us. They are the outlaws, not us. They are the terrorists, not us. They are the ones who need to be stopped, not us. Our forefathers fought and died for our freedoms but we have allowed them enough rope to hang themselves. How long are we going to wait to stop these egregious usurpations of our God given unalienable rights? Justice has been perverted to Just Us!

Post a Comment