Why you should never start a garden without checking with your local authority, six laws that could land you in trouble

WITH the bright rays of the sun, it seems like the perfect time to start your very own backyard garden.

However, thanks to the six laws, you should check with your local government to make sure you can be legal.

Attorneys explain that being able to grow your own food can vary from state to state


Attorneys explain that being able to grow your own food can vary from state to stateCredit: Getty

SZ Cohn, Esq, partner of Legal Cohn in New York, explain that your ability to grow your own food may vary depending on the state you’re in.

“The most important thing to start with is to realize that generally, people will find different laws depending on the State (and local municipality) in which they live,” he said.

“Indeed, while the sale of food (at least, in meaningful quantities) is regulated at the Federal level by the FDA, the growing of food is merely and certainly for one’s consumption,” he explains. people are more localized”.

Dmitriy Kondratiev, an international law attorney, explains that normally you don’t need to get permission to grow food in your garden, there may be exceptions.

Currently, only Illinois and Florida have “Right to Garden” laws in their books, followed by Maine, which recently update its constitution with a “Right to Eat” modification.

A Michigan woman, Julie Bass, has been charged with a civil offense for failing to plant “grass, shrub, or other suitable living plant material” in the spring of 2011.

She installed a few raised beds in her suburban front yard.

Bass quickly learned that her gardening efforts, with the intention of teaching the kids how to grow their own food, were breaking the law.

Bass’s experience is not unique – countless individuals have been forced to dismantle their gardens.

Many people were confused by the confusing arguments for the law.

Some argue that greenhouses detract from property values, high beds do not match the aesthetics of a well-kept yard, and vegetables grown in the ground look unsightly, among others. other.

Ari Bargil, a lawyer of Judicial Institute who has represented a number of gardeners, says such criticism tends to stem from discrimination.

“These are class constraints designed to make neighborhoods look like a certain way,” he said.

However, the lawyer also noted progress is being made in terms of reform.

“It’s a tough law to win,” said Bargil, who has been involved in both the Illinois and Florida lawsuits. “Passing reforms like this is very, very difficult.”

Laws in Illinois and Florida make it legal to grow your own garden


Laws in Illinois and Florida make it legal to grow your own gardenCredit: Getty

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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