There’s a special kind of joy that comes from eating food you grew yourself.
In most cases, living in a city can restrict the amount of food you can grow or even outlaw your garden all together.
That’s exactly what happened to the Athans family from Sugar Creek, Missouri (1).
The family said they received an ordinance from the city to destroy their vegetable garden from their front lawn in four days or face a fine.
But Nathan Athans, the father of the family insists that the ordinance is unfair.
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He explains that the garden violates a new law that states that all gardens must be 30 feet from the road. He feels personally targeted, being the only person in the community whose garden doesn’t meet these criteria. But it’s not the first time that the family has been targeted by the city.
Last year, the family was cited for having weeds in their garden, for which they complied and paid the fine (2).
“We did it, completely weed-free, we paid our citation,” said Mr. Athans.
On this incident, the city’s building official, Paul Loving, said “I don’t know that there would have been a problem with them had the gardens been well kept, they weren’t.”
Despite his neighbor’s complaints Mr. Athans insists that his intention are nothing but pure:
“I want my family to know where their food is coming from, I don’t want to have to go to the grocery store and worry about what was done to that food.”
Mr. Athans explains that transforming his front garden into a vegetable patch wasn’t his intention at first, but his backyard was too dark to grow any food. He insists that he’s already spent over 300 hours on his garden and believes that he should be able to do what we wants with his private property.
The family’s approach to green living may be unconventional, but that doesn’t mean that it should be illegal. So far, they’ve attempted to speak with the city and their neighbors and have even launched an online petition to get back their rights.