Georgia County Sues Backyard Farmer For Growing Too Many Vegetables
Screengrab from: WSBTV.com, which has the full video
A backyard farmer in Clarkston, Georgia is being sued for growing too many vegetables, on the grounds that he is in violation of local zoning ordinances, even though those ordinances have since been changed. Steve Miller had been growing copious amounts of produce on his land for 15 years, selling at local farmer's markets and giving some away to friends. But in January zoning enforcement officers began ticketing Miller.Even though Miller stopped growing vegetables on the land until he successfully had the land rezoned he still faces some $5000 in fines.
WSBTV.com has more info, and you can check out their video report above.
Beyond the on the face of it absurdity--at least from these reports it doesn't seem like Miller had an actual commercial farming operation as normally would be defined, just lots and lots of vegetables and fruits--this is a perfect example of something suburbia as a whole will likely need to consider more in the future.
How Do We Transition For Using Less Land for Lawns?
Conceivably, as we move towards a more energy constrained future--certainly if the worst of recent peak oil scenarios bears out (viz the German Army talks about global market collapse)--and more local food production becomes critical we will see more small battles about what is a 'farm' and what is just a really avid gardener.
Obviously, as such a scenario progresses to its Kunstlerian apogee zoning laws are likely to fall to the wayside in many places, but before things got that bad, there seems to be a way to manage the situation to allow more and more people to use the bulk of their small piece of domestic heaven for actual food production and not just lawn space.
While it may seem like a small, local zoning battle more than anything else, with a slight change in focus this is also a contest over food security.
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More on Gardening & Food Security:
Try No Dig Gardening for Your Backyard Vegetables
Community Wins Allotment Gardening Battle
Transition Town Plants Up Nut Trees for Food Security
Staple Food Prices to Rise Up to 45% Over Next Decade, UN FAO Warns