‘Give Peas a Chance’ Protest Saves Front Yard Vegetable Garden – Until Fall

The peas have been given a reprieve, until September 1st. Then the villainous vines and crooked cabbage will be sentenced to the compost heap, along with the dastardly dill and randy rhubarb.

Josée Landry and Beauchamp have violated a city bylaw. They will follow city rules or pay heavily.

Landry and Beauchamp figured their front yard in Drummondville, Quebec, could be put to better use than growing grass. They wanted to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. So they ripped up the sod, built raised beds, and began growing vegetables. Their video shows all that was involved in creating their urban garden.

By May the garden was thriving, with neat rows of seedlings, leafy vegetables, and the promise of a tasty harvest. That’s when city hall let them know they were facing fines up to $300 a day if they persisted with their infraction.

They have run afoul of a bylaw that limits their vegetable patch to 70 percent of their front lawn. Drummondville says the other 30 percent belongs to the municipality, and the city wants grass on its part.

The only reason the couple can have that much of an urban vegetable garden is that they lived in St. Charles de Drummond before it was annexed by Drummondville in 2004. Residents in the latter city can’t have vegetable gardens out front, period.

The pair argue they had verbal permission from the city before they started their major project. The city says there must have been a misunderstanding. Two warnings later, Landry and Beauchamp were ordered to comply with the bylaw or pay heavy fines.

They did what a lot of determined people do, went public. Inspired by the bed-in that brought so much attention to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, they moved a bed into their garden and posted signs such as “Give peas a chance.” Media appeared. The Twittersphere buzzed, and the couple dubbed their garden “Rosa”, as a nod to Rosa Parks.

The city backed down, though only until September 1st. Landry and Beauchamp are scheduled to appear at city hall on August 13th. By then they may have enough support to show Drummondville that times have changed. People want healthy food. They want food security. The idea that a front-yard vegetable garden is an eyesore is gradually giving way to a different aesthetic, one that sees beauty in peas.

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Photo from video by Josée Landry via YouTube

265 comments

Linda L.
Linda L.3 years ago

One big problem with urban gardening in your front yard is all the toxins the vegetables are exposed to from car exhaust every time someone drives by. No amount of organic gardening is going to prevent that and it can amount to a pretty sizeable toxin load. Not sure I'd want to eat vegetables grown in anyone's front yard that has a street near it. There are always warnings about gathering and eating wild berries that grow near any highways for this same reason.

Jane R.
Jane R.3 years ago

They werent told they can't have a frontyard garden at all, just that it has to comply with the city's by-laws. The article states:
a bylaw that limits their vegetable patch to 70 percent of their front lawn. Drummondville says the other 30 percent belongs to the municipality, and the city wants grass on its part.

They should be happy that they can have that much since people in Drummondville can't have one at all. Read the article again.

Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago

This is so ridiculous! Let people garden on their own property!

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley3 years ago

that is RIDICULOUS!

Maddy W.
Maddy W.3 years ago

I do agree it's a little absurd that they aren't allowed to grow their own vegetables in their front yard (I think that's a wonderful thing), but then again they should have double-checked to see if they were allowed to. Someone can say they are allowed to but that someone won't always be right.

April Thompson
April Thompson3 years ago

Such a lovely looking yard! Veggies should be able to be grown everywhere in all your house yards!

Jeanne Posthumus
Jeanne Posthumus3 years ago

it's a lot nicer looking that that ugly grass! I guess they'll just have to move it back a bit?

Jenni C.
Jenni C.3 years ago

I think their garden is a lot nicer looking than grass. Plus, it has a healthy use. I'd rather use water to grow food instead of grass anyway. The yard looks very well kept & clean. The government needs to focus on serious things....like maybe, oh I don't know....the war, murders, drugs, crime, etc.

Cristina Calloni
Cristins Calloni3 years ago

I have in my back terrace all in pots.....-I live in an apartment complex. I am very proud of my veggy.

Cristina Calloni
Cristins Calloni3 years ago

I have in my back terrace all in pots.....-I live in an apartment complex. I am very proud of my veggy.