From the early stages of life, we have been raised to be good citizens and treat people with kindness and respect. Respecting people also means that we must not use what does not belong to us without permission. It also implies that we need to value other people’s work and the effort and not damage the goods that belong to the wider community.
We have been taught that police officers are our friends and that they work hard to protect us from danger. The city officials are here to take care of people in the community and to make sure that all the conditions are provided for people to lead their lives normally.
It is only reasonable to enforce legal acts that are beneficial for people, not harmful, right? Wrong, according to the city authorities in Sugar Creek, Missouri. They have enforced a new law that prohibits the citizens to plant vegetables in the front yard of their houses. The vegetables have to be planted at least 30 feet away from the street, to be precise. The law was enforced on March 28th, 2016.
Home gardens are against the law
A family from Sugar Creek have committed this very crime. They have been asked to remove the whole garden from their front yard in just 4 days or face a serious fine. Have they begun cultivating marijuana illegally or perhaps some poisonous sort of plants? No, they have just planted simple veggies that would provide food for them.
The father of the family, Nathan Athans, is passionate about maintaining his garden, where he spends his leisure time. He believes that it is important for his family to grow and consume home-grown healthy organic vegetables.
He says he would gladly transfer the garden to the back of his house but that his vegetables wouldn’t thrive there as it is dark and does provide the necessary conditions for growing them.
The Athans family have kept the garden weed-free, according to the existing regulations.It is obvious that Paul Loving, the city’s official, does not treat city gardeners lovingly.
He has said: ““I don’t know that there would have been a problem with them had the gardens been well kept, they weren’t.” He has further clarified the necessity for the ordinance: ““Because I want my yard a certain way doesn’t mean the neighborhood has to keep his yard the same way, but I do have an expectation that we’ll all be reasonable in what we put in our front yards.”
In an attempt to regain their rights, the family members have spoken to the neighbors and have begun an online petition.
Municipalities throughout the country have also been victimized
Instead of encouraging and promoting home gardening as a healthy and beneficial activity, the government is doing the opposite. The Sugar Creek family is not the only victim of this ridiculous policy that even threatens to put people in jail if they do not abide by the new law. There are similar cases around the country where the government has acted as a brutal trespasser into people’s private property.
Here are some of them:
- In Tulsa, OK, a woman’s garden was destroyed because the plants in her front garden were shorter than 12 inches. To make the case even more bizarre, the lady cultivated the garden as an additional source of food since she did not have employment.
- A woman was compelled to hire a lawyer to defend her right to keep a vegetable garden. The city officials threatened to imprison her for more than 90 days.
- In Oakland, CA, it is permitted to grow but not sell your home-grown veggies. The permit for doing so costs a fortune.
- A couple from Miami Shores in Florida had to destroy their vegetable garden that they had maintained for 17 years. Their option was to pay a 1500 $ fine each month.
What kind of behavior should be rewarded, and which acts deserve punishment?
It is high time we questioned the priorities and values in our society. It seems that we have turned our system of values upside down.
The Mexican president Benito Juarez from the middle of the 19th century shared his famous thought that our government officials should deeply reflect on: “The respect to other people’s right is peace”.