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The Five Best (and Worst) U.S. Cities For Urban Gardening

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…And Now For The Worst


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1. Orlando

In late 2012, a neighbor complaint about vegetables being grown in the front yard led the City of Orlando to cite the Helvenston Family for violating section 60.207 of Orlando’s Land Development Code (failure to maintain ground cover on property) and set a deadline of Nov. 7 to comply. The family made national headlines with their pledge to fight the outdated regulation, and they recently won their case with the City Council.



2. Tulsa

In 2011, resident Denise Morrison saw her extensive edible garden–filled with more than 100 plant varieties–destroyed by authorities while she was awaiting a court date to work out a citation stemming from a complaint. At the time, Morrison was unemployed and the vast garden was her main source of food.



3. Oak Park

After the city of Oak Park, Michigan, tore up Julie Bass’ front yard to replace a sewer line, the homeowner and mother saw an opportunity. Rather than replacing the front yard with dirt and a lawn, she decided to put in a vegetable garden. It’s a decision that almost landed her in jail. All in all, Bass constructed five large planters where her family’s front yard used to be.  And those planters violate city code, which calls for all unpaved portions of a front yard to be covered with grass, ground cover or shrubbery or “other suitable live plant material.” The violation carried a sentence of over 90 days in jail. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and after national outcry, the city dropped the charges.

Do you know of a city that belongs among the best (or worst) for urban gardening in the U.S.? Share it in a comment!


Related Reading:

5 Ways To Kick-Start Your Own Urban Vegetable Garden

Why Do We Love Lawns But Hate Organic Gardens?

Green Your Balcony With A Beautiful Pallet Garden


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5:45PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

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5:44PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

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5:43PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

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9:57AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

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7:33AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:57AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

I didn't know that.

9:01PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

i'm probably the worst gardener no matter what city i live in. i try but i fail every time.

7:50PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013


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