By February 23, 2013 9 Comments Read More →

Front Yard Food Gardens – Defying Conformity and Challenging Authority

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Waking Times

With urban farming becoming more popular and more common, people are starting to consider their front and back yards as a potential space for growing healthy, organic produce. Yet, front yards may actually be off limits if you’re thinking of starting a food garden. Various city ordinances and, in some neighborhoods, your Home Owner’s Association (HOA) may threaten you with a misdemeanor and hefty fines if you incorporate unusual, tall or non-decorate plants into your front yard.

Is this a benign effort to protect property values and to conform to a certain standard, or is this a sign of a larger conspiracy by mega-food companies to protect their market strong-hold by exerting influence over local government?

Edible Landscaping

Growing plants that produce food in tandem with plants that support the ecosystem and attract native bugs and pollinating bees, is an effective method of creating an edible landscape, and an important part of bringing about an equitable food system. Vegetables and flowers mixed together in geometrically-positioned raised beds, planters and containers, or in-ground lots can make for a very productive and attractive front yard garden.

In the following short interview, Ian Lindsay, a professor at Purdue University, offers some helpful hints about front yard food gardening and discusses some of the political issues that have led him to take control over what food his family eats.

Big-Food Conspiracy

Is growing a vegetable garden in your front yard really such a horrible act that we must punish people for doing so? It seems like a ridiculous question, but there are, agencies, enforcement officers and authorities that are willing to do just that.

  • In 2011, Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan was charged with a misdemeanor and threatened with jail time for planting a vegetable garden in her front yard
  • In British Columbia, Dirk Becker was threatened with six months in jail for converting an acre of his 2.5-acre lot into an organic farm. What’s even more unsettling about the charges in this case is that the lot was literally stripped bare down to a gravel pit before this. The owner spent over a decade healing the land and converting it into a self-contained ecosystem that is now home to thriving vegetable crops, fruit trees, bees, butterflies, birds, frogs, dragonflies and more. But because the area is zoned a “residential” lot, the local government is calling on him to “cease all agricultural activity” or pay the consequences.
  • Earlier this year, city inspectors bulldozed more than 100 types of plants, including garlic chives, strawberry and apple mint, being grown by Denise Morrison in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The inspectors said her plants were too tall, but city code allows for plants over 12 inches if they’re meant for human consumption, which hers were. Morrison is now suing the city for violating her civil rights.1
  • Steve Miller was fined $5,200 for growing vegetables in his Clarkston, Georgia backyard, which he not only consumed but also sold at farmers markets and shared with friends.2

Dr. Mercola

  • The Orlando Planning Board voted to recommend that the City Council adopt an ordinance that would force the Helvenstons to uproot approximately 50 percent of their popular city vegetable garden, effectively eliminating a significant portion of their food supply.

Mother Earth News

If politician’s are susceptible to corruption at the national level, could it be that local city ordinances criminalizing food gardens are a way for the food industry giants to manipulate the food supply chain, ensuring more customers at the grocery store? Even with such speculation aside, it is no secret that industrial food production and retail chains are represented by powerful and wealthy lobbies. Our access to food is being monopolized, the quality of our food is being sabotaged, our options are shrinking, and time is running out. If city governments are willing to prosecute people for opting out of a polluted food system, then it reasons that they are at least unwittingly serving the interests of food corporations.

Supporting Food, Not Conformity

Planting a front yard food garden, or any type of home garden, even if it starts with only a few pots and planters of tomatoes and herbs, is a great way to take control over what food you are eating. Growing food makes sense because our conventional supply chain is becoming more unreliable and offers decreasing options for affordable nutritious food.

When living amidst manicured green lawns, a food garden will stand out and might upset some people. Yet, it is perfectly reasonable to exercise the simple right to grow food, especially on your own property. So don’t be afraid of city ordinances and HOA bullies. Instead, embrace your rights and take control over your life, health and liberty.

The Helvenstons, from Orlando, Florida, are a great example. When threatened by the City to remove their edible front yard food garden, this young couple, with the aid of a supportive community and world-wide support, fought city hall, and won!

Getting Started

It is easy to think that growing your own food is difficult, but the hardest part is the first plant. Once you realize what a joy it is to re-connect with your food, and just how easy and fun gardening is, you’ll thank yourself. Spring is right around the corner, so find a sunny space, purchase some starter plants, and get started.

There are numerous resources that offer information about home food cultivation; some are provided below. Perhaps you’ll be faced with some interesting battles with your local government authorities, but you might also start a trend that transforms your home town into an edible town. And you’ll also be doing your duty to ensure that future generations are able to exercise the basic right to grow nutritious food.

Home Gardening Resources:

Organic Gardening 101

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long

Getting Started In Permaculture: 50 Practical Projects to Build and Design Productive Gardens

About the Author

Anna Hunt is a staff writer for and an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at, offering GMO-free storable food and emergency kits. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor at Atenas Yoga. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here.


This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • Kevin Japanangka

    Never heard such a crock of crap about “ordinances” preventing gardeners doing what they know better than councils ever do.
    Food plants are much better looking than most flowers, and are much more nutritious.
    Remember, an “ordinance” is NOT a Law, therefore tell them to “suck eggs”.

  • Lance

    Start by putting in a ‘fedge’ based around a 6′ wire fence. A ‘fedge’ is a ‘food-hedge’. Every plant in the fedge need not produce food. Guild them Permaculture styles so that you have insect attractors, nitrogen fixers, mulchables, etc. Then anyone wo peers too deeply over it is spying and should be noted to the supposed ‘authorities’ as a ‘creeper’.
    Include in the fedge forage for poultry and rabbits in case you ever need to bring either resource into the system. How many people know a mulberry from anything else? Plant a lot of comfrey out front in an attractive manner for use as a mulch and nitrogen source for a more intensive backyard planting. Ican’t recommend taking a Permaculture Design Course enough. I have taken 2 and just completed a Permaculture teachers course (though I have no intention of teaching) and it is astounding the amount of novelty you can ‘consume’ from brilliant minds in a short period of time.
    You can alos plant food that no one realizes is food. Jerusalem artichoke comes to mind. Lovely looking plant and the tubers run amok if given the space. How many people know what goji looks like? How many people know much of anything about the phytomphalos (plants being the navel cord betwixt people and planet)?
    Don’t show them kale in the front yard…stump them with a food forest instead. Don’t have celery in rasied beds, build a few useful plant guilds. Don’t ‘fight the neighbours’, wujo them.

  • mothman777

    This is all part of the Bolshevik Judaic Agenda 21 agenda, to move everyone off the land, so they become forgetful of food-growing skills and have no place to grow food, imprisoned in little concrete boxes for houses, ready for extermination whenever the Stalinist system decides to stop sending food into the cities, in one simple move. That is what the Jewish Communists in the US government are setting you up for.

    And the 1991 Noahide Laws pushed through Congress by the Chabad Lubavitcher Jews with George Bush Sr. are all part of the same set-up, getting ready to wipe out the Gentiles, just like they did in the Ukraine, and the rest of Russia, when the Jewish-led Bolsheviks murdered 66 million Gentiles (Christians) in cold blood, using artificially enforced lack of food as a weapon to kill 10 million in the Ukraine.

    The Talmud states “Even the best of Gentiles should all be killed”. And the Jews mean to do it. If they didn’t mean to do that, they would not have that in their scripture, and if they admit it is there and say that they do not wish it to be practiced, then they should leave the Jewish ‘religion’, but they don’t, leaving us with only one conclusion, that in truth they do in fact secretly agree with that edict, and intend to support it being carried out.

    Bill Gates says he is going to reduce the world population by 1 billion, and that is just one Jew. He is NOT going to reduce the population of the Jews. Imagine what the rest of the Jews can do through Monsanto, Agenda 21, Chemtrails, the nuclear weapons that have all been invented without any exception by Jewish scientists, that fact proving the insane psychopathic and genocidal nature of that people.

    All houses must be built with big gardens. Jewish architects working for Jewish politicians will make sure you have smaller and smaller houses, and don’t have any gardens, and those politicians will make sure that growing your own food is a crime, just like in the Ukraine when it became a crime to have your own food.

    The Jews are preparing to kill you. Impeach your government, make sure a non-Jewish government is put in place, and that all houses are built with big gardens sufficient to produce food which every family can survive on, with plenty to spare. Just saying it like it is.

    Indeed, ensuring that every dwelling is built with a garden sufficient to provide enough food to survive on, and more, should become part of the Constitution, just as the right to possess a firearm to defend yourself is.

    The American Constitution needs to be amended there to defend the people against the Bolshevik Jews.

    The politicians already know all about how to conserve soil, and you can bet they do that perfectly well in their own underground bases, whilst they deliberately destroy the surface soil and ecosystems through intentionally maintaining toxic and otherwise harmful farming practices in order to prepare the way for mass starvation of the Gentiles. See it for what it is.

    The government is quite knowledgeable, and very authoritarian, and it is certainly not the case that they cannot remedy the situation by simply providing the know-how and necessary instructions that they know are vital to preserve the soil and ecosystems for the benefit of all. No, they are deliberately destroying the soil, with one purpose in mind, that is famine!

    Famine is surely coming, sooner or later, and it cannot be any other way, and the government is deliberately and malevolently doing nothing to stop it.

    See ‘Mothman777′s Blog’ ‘Basalt And Other Rock Dusts, How To Totally Remineralize Your Soil’.

  • Second hand smoke

    If you let them do it,then it must be what you want.Even if the start using drones to find vegetables,theres no way they could find them all.
    Criminals will still find ways to hide vegetable gardens.It will get like the war on drugs and costing a fortune.How many vegetable enforcement agents,drones,violently trained animals and even innocent lives wil be put at risk?And for what?A stash of privately grown carrots?The government is insane,you know that don’t you?

  • The punk bullys have taken over amerika,empowered by the punk bullys of the amerikan govt.

  • These plantings can still be well-kempt, interspersed with useful flowers, and fit the typical format of a lawn.

    Not that it’s freedom, but they can be enjoyed in private.

  • Paul

    How did the “Land of the Free” ever allow itself to reach a point where choosing to grow food in your own front garden became an act of rebellion against the system? So busy staring up at your flag with tears in your eyes (as instructed) that you didn’t notice the prison walls rising up around and behind you?

  • rich

    No problem in doing it. The problem exists when neighbors, and street traffic can see it. Your neighbors may rat on you. Put up high fences. Pretend it’s for a pool.

  • dimitri

    Lots of articles and books are devoted to this chimeric, Garden of Eden vision of mostly vegetable growing as though there is only one season to the year: the planting and harvesting season. What of winter and the months when nothing edible comes forth?
    Mention is then made of greenhousing, with the rarely added footnote that it’s expensive and high maintenance.
    Then there’s the problem of several generations of mostly urban dwellers who harbor a hidden revulsion to getting soil under their fingernails, i.e. they simply have no idea of what the phrase “back breaking work” means.
    For many, many people there’s a whole lot of learning and experiencing to take place yet. At this point Big Agriculture’s level field is so big that too many just cave in to its convenience and never explore any alternatives.

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