It’s understandable if you don’t grow your own food because it seems like too much work or you don’t have the space. However, if you’re a homeowner, you may assume that growing your own food is your choice and your right, regardless of whether or not you exercise that right. And that’s where you’d be wrong. Depending on where you live, if you plant your own garden and grow your own vegetables, you may have an illegal garden.
Roger Doiron, a home kitchen garden evangelist, believes that growing your own food is subversive. That it’s a form of power. That kitchen gardening is “a healthy gateway drug to food freedom.” Doiron believes that growing your own vegetables can help solve the problems of hunger, obesity and environmental pollution. But, in order for kitchen gardening to take root (couldn’t resist), it’s essential that growing your own food is legal. Even if you don’t plant your own garden, you can get involved by making sure that others in your community have the legal right to their own food freedom. Who knows, maybe your neighbors will thank you with some of their bounty.
The local food movement has its benefits, but kitchen gardening takes eating locally to a whole new level. Growing your own food is hyperlocal. With hunger and food prices on the rise, and the heavy toll that the industrial food system takes on our environment, Doiron says that we need to redefine what “good food” is: where it’s grown, when, how, by whom and for whose benefit.
In a highly industrialized food system, ten calories of fossil fuel energy is needed to create one calorie of food energy. In the United States, food travels an average of 1500 miles from field to fork. One third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from food and agriculture.
The industrialized food system also takes its toll on genetic diversity. Ninety percent of vegetable varieties went extinct in the twentieth century, and according to Doiron, diversity is an insurance policy against climate change. Watch Doiron’s inspiring TEDx Talk. It might motivate you to plant your own garden!
The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.
This Garden is Illegal
Here are some articles about people getting in trouble with the law for their edible gardens:
“Across the country and even in Canada, cities’ thinking about front lawns is more than a little bit antiquated. It comes down to this simple formulation: Grass good! Vegetables bad. We’ve heard one too many stories in which people decide to use their yards to grow some fresh vegetables, only to have city officials come down hard on them, forcing them to tear out their food or bulldozing the gardens themselves.”
“The Clarkston, Ga., man was fined $5,200 for growing too many vegetables in his backyard.”
Oklahoma’s Own: Woman Sues City Of Tulsa For Cutting Down Her Edible Garden
Tulsa authorities cut down Denise Morrison’s garden months before her court date. “Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis. ‘Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,’ Morrison said. ‘They took away my life and livelihood.’”