July 24, 2012
People are hungry, economies everywhere are tanking. The answer to that
problem used to be "do what you can on your own." In America, it was the
now iconic Victory Gardens. In Montreal, Canada there is a move to
defeat such self-reliance.
For some strange reason, helping yourself is the very last thing the
governments in both the U.S. and Canada will "allow" you to do; not even
on your own land. Stranger still, it is the lower-rung, local
governments that show up in news stories extinguishing property rights
in the name of almighty municipal code.
Josée Landry and partner Michel Beauchamp decided to start an urban
garden for both economic and health reasons, and they even have
documented its progress via their family blog
since its beginning. They proudly gave their new passion a name - Rosa -
in memory of civil rights icon, Rosa Parks, who refused to take her
place as ordered by the tyrannical bureaucracy of the day.
Now it seems that they find themselves forced to take a stand for
another basic civil right: food freedom. Instead of allowing this garden
to flourish and nourish, local officials in Canada now want to make any
new front yard gardens completely illegal by autumn, along with
The crackdown on home gardening has been marching across the first world at a rapid pace of late. In the U.S. we have seen a woman threatened with jail for 93 days for front yard tomatoes and a Tulsa, OK woman sued
after coming home to find her yard full of herbal remedies and
vegetation ripped up and taken. Oftentimes, it's a power play, and only
when enough negative attention is garnered, do the code enforcers back
down, usually citing their targets for some other minor infraction.