Saturday, May 14, 2011

Backyard (or front yard) gardeners 'rights'

I know I don't post much here these days. Life is abundant right now with 'things to do' and most of those are things that must be done in contrast to this blog, which is further down on that type of list.

However, I heard a disheartening story on Michigan Radio yesterday about how 'rules and regulations' in Detroit were making it harder for community gardens to exist (which also made me wonder if backyard gardens were subject to these same rules), and then thankfully I saw the following uplifting piece of news this morning from San Francisco showing how one city understands and is both facilitating and advocating for the benefits to individuals and the community regarding gardening.

May 13, 2011

San Francisco Streamlines Backyard Gardeners Rights. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently voted to amend the city’s zoning code in such a way that now allows backyard growers to freely cultivate produce and sell it without having to purchase a conditional use permit which could cost up to $3,000. The ruling allows urban farmers with land plots measuring one acre or less to grow produce for commercial purposes through a streamlined permit process and at a much reduced cost. Backyard growers will also be able to sell “value added” items like jellies, salsas, herb salts, and other prepared items. Both for-profit and not-for-profit groups are covered by the new ruling. Which is expected to further expand the scope of community-supported agriculture programs in the city. (Natural News, 2011, http://www.naturalnews.com/032171_urban_farms_San_Francisco.html)

So yes, there is hope that reasonableness can preside. I hope Detroit takes notice! Gardens cultivate and nourish both physical health and economic health of individuals and communities. Doing everything possible to reduce barriers is not only reasonable but smart and necessary! In so many words, I believe that is even the by-line for this blog. :-)

Cultivating health through ALL gardens' nourishment of body, soul, and community,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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