Garden Backlash?

This summer, I have come across two different news stories of homeowners being prosecuted because they are growing vegetables in their front yard. In each case a neighbor complained to authorities (city council? Neighborhood association?). The first instance was a couple of months ago. It involved a mother of four in Michigan who was growing food for her family (unfortunately, I have lost the URL for the story). The picture I saw showed four neat raised beds (square-foot gardening!) arranged in a square in front of her house. And now this week comes a story of a man in Memphis Tennessee facing charges for growing a garden. The man is a high school teacher who is using his garden to teach his students where their food comes from.

Gardens can look messy

The reason that these stories struck me is that this is the kind of thing that I’ve been worried about long before I started to grow vegetables in front of my condo. It was part of the reason I waited so long to try. I’ve been very pleased with being able to garden in my flowerbed, but I can’t help but worry what my neighbors think. After all, if you’re not a gardener (and the majority of my neighbors are not), it looks pretty messy with tomato plants overflowing the cages that support them and beans swarming up and over their supports. It would only take a complaint from a neighbor (and in a condo complex, you have a lot of neighbors) to put an end to my gardening.

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