Suburbanites fight regs that limit food production

Apr 5, 2010

City dwellers are fighting local governments in communities across the nation to permit the production of food in their residential gardens, according to a story that appeared in San Diego's North County Times over the weekend.

The story, written by Raquel Maria Dillon of the Associated Press, opened with the frustrations of LA flower grower Tara Kolla, who produced poppies, sweet peas and zinnias on her 21,000-square-foot lot to sell at a farmers market. Neighbors complained to the city about dusty pots, odorous compost and flies - and prevailed.

Nevertheless, the story said growing plants in urban areas to eat or for profit is becoming more popular. "People are putting edible plants in the front yard," the story quoted UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Sue Ehrhardt.

The reporter gave the following examples of nationwide interest in the urban farming trend:

  • Farms in San Diego County are getting smaller and more numerous. A few years ago, six acres was the average farm size; now it is four.

  • In Detroit, the city planner is part of a work group rewriting regulations that currently ban growing crops and raising livestock for profit.

  • Seattle has loosened its rules for backyard goats.

  • New York City is taking steps to legalize beekeeping.

  • In Los Angeles, the city council is clarifying city policies on urban farms.

The UC Master Gardener Program offers extensive information on the California Gardening Web site to California residents who wish to grow food or create an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist

Attached Images:

California Gardening Web site.