Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Should Poor People Grow Veggies?

Apparently not if you live in subsidized housing the the USA. Despite efforts of Mrs Obama to grow a garden on the White House lawn and other urban growing projects designed to encourage community gardens, a small 4 year old girl and her disabled mother are being ordered to remove their little vegetable garden in South Dakota.

The story is basically this. The little girl and her mother live in subsidized housing as the mom is severely disabled. They live on a very meager budget as you can imagine. So to provide fresh vegetables for her child and some fun and practical gardening skills, they planted a small garden in their yard area. According to the USDA Rural Development Agency they are not allowed to grow a garden in landscaped areas of their rental. Can you imagine? Some of the most vulnerable members of society are being told they can't help themselves by growing vegetables by the very agency that's responsible for Rural Development. Surely a garden would qualify. We're not talking about a neglected weed patch, we're talking about a small plot outside their back door. The management company of their unit told them to remove it because the USDA has rules about these things. Rules. Not laws. Rules.

Yes, it does seem very heavy handed and it goes against what so many people are trying hard to promote like kitchen gardens and community food programs. My goodness it just seems to be one story after another this year about people having their veggie patches removed. It's silly rules like this that make me glad we're moving into the country in a few weeks, into a relatively liberal county. Of course there are rules to govern things like burning garbage and building homes, but they are willing to listen and the rules show a lot of common sense. What's that old saying? "There's nothing so uncommon as common sense". Seems like some common sense could prevail here.


They get to keep their garden! The management company have agreed to build some raised beds for use by all the tenants. That's a step in the right direction. Now if only more people could be encouraged to get growing.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh! What a terrible story - but I am glad they get to keep their garden now. Found your blog when I was looking for information on my luffa gourd plants. Nice job!