Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

War against edible gardens

The edible garden of the White House. Picture from
Michelle Obama´s book on edible gardens. Google images.

I´ve seen Michelle Obama´s book on edible gardens, though interesting, it is not for architects.
The first lady is promoting to grow edible gardens in our own houses, the problem arises that some people think it is not aesthetic, and there must be a percentage of traditional lawn in combination with vegetables or not vegetables at all.
I know that a vegetable garden can be beautifully arranged, by the way, lettuces are pretty decorative plants.
Let us read some paragraphs about the ¨war¨ against edible gardens from an article by Sarah Laskow  at

Illegal edible garden. Picture from Laskow´s article

Across the country and even in Canada, cities’ thinking about front lawns is more than a little bit antiquated. It comes down to this simple formulation: Grass good! Vegetables bad. We’ve heard one too many stories in which people decide to use their yards to grow some fresh vegetables, only to have city officials come down hard on them, forcing them to tear out their food or bulldozing the gardens themselves. If building a few bike lanes counts as a war on cars, this is definitely a war on gardens. The latest skirmish took place in Drummondville, Quebec, where Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp built what supporters describe as “a gorgeous and meticulously-maintained edible landscape full of healthy fruits and vegetables.” (You can judge for yourself: It’s the garden in the picture above.) Under the town’s new code, a garden like that would be illegal. It covers too much of the yard. Under the new rules, only 30 percent of a yard’s area can go towards growing vegetables, and the town’s given the couple only two weeks to pull out their carefully planted veggies. 
 At least Drummondville hasn’t pulled a Tulsa and bulldozed the entire thing. If you start looking for stories like these, you’ll turn them up in droves. In 2010, Clarkston, Ga., fined a gardener named Steve Miller for planting too many vegetables. In 2011, Oak Park, Mich., told Julie Bass she couldn’t grow any vegetables in her front yard because vegetables weren’t “suitable” yard plants.

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