How Growing Your Own Vegetables Can Get You Arrested

By Diane February 25, 2019 07:59

How Growing Your Own Vegetables Can Get You Arrested

During WWI and WWII, nearly every home had a vegetable garden. In fact, it was almost unpatriotic not to have a plot to feed your family and friends. Called “Victory Gardens,” these plots were necessary to free up food to be sent to troops and to hungry civilians overseas. Tending a small garden in your yard was considered to be your part of the war effort.

We’ve come a long way since the Victory Gardens of WWII. Governments have begun to legislate how our property can be used and what we can grow. There sometimes seems to be a war against self-sufficiency in any direction. Vegetable gardening in the city or even on suburban yards is under attack in many areas and could get you fined or even jailed.

What is the Law in Your Town?

I would encourage everyone to plant a garden. It is one of the most effective preparation techniques available. If SHTF, you will need the skills and experience to survive.

But, I also want you to check the laws in your area before beginning the project. If you find laws against growing vegetables in your yard, I would encourage you to fight to change those laws. Check ordinances with your local zoning department and also with your local Homeowner’s Association, if you have one. In most areas, you should be able to find copies of the zoning laws and building codes in your local library.

How Bad is the Problem?

Unfortunately, it is a common problem in many cities and towns. If you live on rural land, then you probably have nothing to worry about, for now, anyway. But more and more city councils and zoning departments are making laws requiring low growing ground covers such as grass and restricting the types of shrubs and trees that can be planted. In some areas, edible ornamentals are allowed, but in others they are not. Even on “private property” the environmental officer may come out to inspect your plants, especially if a neighbor has complained.

Examples of Current Laws and Violations

Here are just a few of the cases that have hit the news in recent years. For every case you find on the news or the internet, there are many more that chose to comply and not make a fuss. These isolated cases represent many others who got no publicity:

  • In March of 2016, Sugar Creek, Missouri passed a law requiring all vegetable gardens to be set back at least 30 feet from the road and 50 feet in residential areas. Existing gardens were grandfathered in and allowed to continue. In many residential areas 30 feet is the entire front yard.
  • An Oak Park, Michigan woman, Julie Bass, was issued a ticket and faced 93 days in jail for not removing her front yard vegetable garden. She eventually got the charges dropped because of public outcry. However, it was a thin victory, since city officials then charged her with other charges over a dog licensing issue that had already been resolved and increased the possible jail time to 180 days. Julie also spent much time and money on lawyer fees and court costs.
  • In 2012, Newton, Massachusetts residents were ordered to remove their tomato garden because they did not have zoning permits for the 13-foot high garden trellis that supported their tomatoes. A permit that should not have been needed or required since a tomato trellis is a temporary structure.
  • Weeds: Many cities and towns have ordinances about weeds and weed maintenance. If the weeds grow in your garden, it can be used against you to remove the garden. Even a weed free garden can be attacked if it appears straggly or untidy in any way. And, unfortunately, you don’t get to decide what is a weed. Your enforcement officer will do that for you.
  • Laws about what kinds of plants can be planted in the yard can be used to remove gardens at the will of city officials. Most ordinances are vague enough to be used however officials want.

Related: How I Grow My Herbs Indoors

Fighting for Food Freedom

Many of the homeowners above chose to fight for their gardening rights and won. However, they expended much time and money that should have gone to other endeavors. They also risked making enemies in the power structure of their local cities which can do further damage eventually.

I believe that in America, we shouldn’t have to fight for the right to plant a garden or even grow a wildflower “weed” garden on our property. However, most of us lost those rights long ago. If your area does not regulate what you can grow, count yourself lucky and fight to keep those rights. It is difficult, almost impossible for most people, to get back any lost rights.

Am I Exaggerating? Isn’t this all Blown Out of Proportion?

Henry Kissinger has been quoted as saying: “Who controls the food supply controls the people.” Unfortunately, this is very accurate in times when food is scarce or of poor quality. Governments and potential tyrants see food as a way to control your behavior and well-being.

Reasons to Return to Homegrown Victory Gardens

Today we already worry about the pesticides that are used to grow our foods, the varnishes, waxes, and other coatings that are applied to keep them fresh, genetic modifications to make the plant grow faster, and bacterial infections spread through poor food handling. There probably are other food borne problems that we don’t even know to worry about. Growing your own food allows you to side-step all these potential problems and know where your food came from and how it was grown. It also helps you get closer to nature and reduces your carbon footprint.

Even if you don’t garden and have no desire to grow a garden in your yard, it is worth your time and effort to maintain those rights. None of us knows what the future may hold and we should prepare for all possibilities. If you don’t garden, support those who do. You may get a few tomatoes and zucchini every summer for your efforts.

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By Diane February 25, 2019 07:59
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  1. Hoosier Homesteader February 25, 12:57

    Growing your own food is as basic as you can get. I pity those who live in places where you can’t.
    This micromanagement is out of control in many many places. When the balloon goes up, and the micromanagers realize along with everyone else that food is King, they’ll wish they had a garden of their own and not be so concerned about “spoiling” the view in their neighborhood.

    Reply to this comment
    • Catman May 10, 18:24

      Monsanto can legally come on to your land test your crop and seize the entire crop if you didn’t buy your seeds from them and their patented genes. Worse yet, even if you are using heirloom seeds if the field next to yours blows Monsanto pollen onto your crop… the harvest is THEIRS.
      Ya want more nightmare making news? Monsanto, the worlds food supply, was just allowed to merge with Bayer, the worlds drug supply.
      It’s a corporate world now and we aren’t even cogs in the wheel anymore, just the grease.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Graywolf12 February 25, 14:51

    UN agenda 21 & 30 + sustainability designed to control the population. All a part of the master plan to turn this country socialist so they, UN, can institute one world government.

    Reply to this comment
    • A proud Christian Socialist February 26, 03:51

      Why is this a SOCIALIST plot? Sounds more like a CAPITALIST plot so big AGRICULTURE can control us. They’ve been doing this world wide. The boogieman, no matter how much the BIG Corporations scream it, is NOT socialism. I get it most American’s have bought the lie hook line and sinker and the rest of the world is shocked by the whole sale gullibility of so many American’s. Socialism is based on democracy, the will of the people.
      I get it following Christ’s teaching is NOT American; greed and the wholesale worshipping of the dollar is. Please stick to good old fashioned prepping. Shocker Socialist Prep for unforeseen disaster. This socialist was brought up as a prepper because it made good sense; it was logical. May you someday find your way to the real teachings of Christ and away from the false prophets who preach greed and selfishness.

      Reply to this comment
      • CarmenO February 26, 11:35

        Proud, one tiny detail you are missing, the UN is all about socialism, so why would they do it to promote capitalism? Hint, I suggest to you look up what the plans are. Most of the US will NOT be open to farming. In fact, in Minnesota, only some areas that are now farms will remain farms, base on the map. I live in one of the few areas that will, if that is implemented. Try typing: Simulated Reserve and Corridor System to protect biodiversity You should get the UN map for the US. You can follow whom ever you want, they will just put you in jail, if they manage to get this travesty approved. Make sure to take your Bible. I suggest you read other things also. You are as gullible as it get. It is called FACTS.

        Reply to this comment
        • Linda H April 7, 15:58

          Proud, Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. After you get it you might wish you hadn’t got it. Think long and hard. Do you really want to have what youworked hard for, so your children can have a good life, taken away and given to people that refuse to work because they can get what you worked for.

          Reply to this comment
      • birdhunter67 February 26, 13:01

        You no nothing of Socialism. It always leads to poverty and despair. Read your history books. Failed everwhere it has been tried. Oh and by the way in the 20th century over 50 million deaths were caused by socialism. You ever hear of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, all good examples of Socialist. And do not say these were Communist. All national Socialist. Jesus would not be a Socialist because it is a wicked institution. Wake up.

        Reply to this comment
        • Wannabe February 26, 22:25

          Bird hunter, your number is off by about 70 million. Well over 120 million killed under socialism including hitler because he was a socialist himself. They were either starved, worked to death, or shot. Just one big happy family having everything in common.

          Reply to this comment
      • Matt Hadder. February 26, 14:19

        It’s more of a control plot than an economic one….hence the socialist connection… Using the force of law to regulate is a socialist m.o. not a capitalist one. Capitalism favors the FREE market. Keyword is FREE. In a free market economy, the market sets prices for goods and services. In a socialist one, prices are impacted through regulatory burdens and laws restricting new free market sources. Chrony capitalism is a close cousin to socialism as it favors specific winners and losers and uses force of law to do so.

        Reply to this comment
      • QueenofHuronia February 26, 15:17

        The Bible, if studied thoroughly, teaches a capitalistic free-market system, with a caveat – it’s to be tempered by Christian compassion, mercy and generosity or charity. Socialism is a Godless system with the State as supreme rather than God; the individual suppressed, without God-given rights and personal freedom, instead rights are subverted into “privileges” granted by the State, not gifts from our Creator; and the lack of reward for your efforts, contrary to Biblical teaching. Industriousness and creativity are NOT rewarded, laziness and mediocrity ARE.
        As for as the big corporate system, that is NOT free market capitalism! That is socialist fascism, where the huge corporations join hands with the government tyrants to control everyone and profit themselves at the expense of the many. There is very little of real free market Christian capitalism left in America!!

        Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe February 26, 22:38

        Okay proud Christian socialist, surely you have divided all your money and donated it by now. Surely you have traded your vehicles and divided them amongst needy folks in your community. Surely you don’t hoard food but have lovingly given it to those who had less than you. And your clothes, surely you don’t have more than one pair of shoes, one pair of pants and one shirt because you saw sooooo many people without and gave those away. And now you don’t have a job because you don’t want to support ungodly evil corporate America in any way including having electricity because you bill just goes to feed their greed. And you grow a garden so you have the joy of putting up a sign that says pick what you want when produce is mature. And you better open up every room in your humble abode that is not being used to house those without because it is just unchristian to have all that space. You know Jesus did not even have a place to lay down his head so just give your house away. I hope you see the absurdity of what you just read. Didn’t Jesus say that if you don’t work you don’t eat? Collective farms under socialist regimes were controlled by government to starve those who didn’t think like them because government officials backed by the military dictated what to do with the food. Have you not seen the recent video put out by Univision showing people in Venezuela eating the thrown away food out of garbage trucks? Did you know that the president of Venezuela detained those reporters after 17 minutes of interviewing him because he saw the video and said it was an unauthorized taping? And guess what? It is in a , say it with me everybody, socialist dictatorship. So please get your head out of your rear and see the truth.

        Reply to this comment
      • Jr 23 February 27, 15:55

        Once you add socalist to religion or government you will never have a religion of Peace nor a demacratic government. It will lock all desention and opinion other than it’s own .and elections will be 1 party. You can vote but only 1 canadate will not happen in beginning but will.
        As told by Cuba ex pat. Convention has meeting with canadates from all over cuba but when deligates get ready to present there person a man stands nominated Fidel. Any other quit but in back men with aks watching
        So Fidel got new term. Thene his brother.
        Venusala is the latest guns seized for saifty. Then tv and radio station not supporting chaves lost lisenced newspapers closed. Now even more corrupt failed he armed his thugs with probably the seized civilian guns
        And now blocking food and medicine and baby formula at the border donated to save the starving. it always happens when gov runs business and takes insentive from people

        Reply to this comment
      • TheSouthernNationalist April 7, 15:07

        Socialism only works in insect colonies, mankind was made free to keep the fruits of his/her labour.

        Reply to this comment
      • Linda H April 7, 15:55

        Proud, Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. After you get it you might wish you hadn’t got it. Think long and hard. Do you really want to have what youworked hard for, so your children can have a good life, taken away and given to people that refuse to work because they can get what you worked for.

        Reply to this comment
      • Catman May 10, 18:26

        Monsanto can legally come on to your land test your crop and seize the entire crop if you didn’t buy your seeds from them and their patented genes. Worse yet, even if you are using heirloom seeds if the field next to yours blows Monsanto pollen onto your crop… the harvest is THEIRS.
        Ya want more nightmare making news? Monsanto, the worlds food supply, was just allowed to merge with Bayer, the worlds drug supply.
        It’s a corporate world now and we aren’t even cogs in the wheel anymore, just the grease.

        Reply to this comment
    • QueenofHuronia February 26, 15:36

      Absolutely! You nailed it! This encroachment on our liberties is a direct effort to keep people from being self-sufficient, free & able to provide for themselves. The author says “it seems”, that’s because it IS the plan!
      GO READ THE U.N.’s WEBSITE FOR YOURSELF! AGENDA 21, NOW AGENDA 2030, is a plan to end national sovereignty, & place us ALL under a collectivist (Marxist) one world regime, ruled by unelected bureaucrats, with no ability to change their dictates – like the European Union is now!
      I have never lived inside a city or town limits, & never would, maybe a little village out in the country, but that’s it. I will never understand why anyone wants to live in a big city. It’s a phony construct, where people try to impress each other with meaningless or destructive behaviors and lifestyles, and the endless attainment of material possessions & fad styles to impress one another. NO THANK YOU!! Gimme green acres and Jesus!
      By the way, virtually NO ONE “owns” their property anymore; if you think so, just try to stop paying the rent (aka property taxes) to your local Lords & masters & see what happens! Only if you have an ALLODIAL TITLE or Land Patent do you truly OWN your property/land & the fixtures thereon!

      Reply to this comment
  3. MagicBill February 25, 15:13

    This just proves you do not “own” your land, even if you paid your mortgage in full. People in the city need to move out. The taxes in a city are high and the benefits of being free do not exist. Out in the country, people need to research about a land patent, the ultimate title that no one can take away! At title deed id not THE deed that owns the property. It is a color of title. A sheriff cannot take away your property if you have a land patent, even if you don’t pay taxes. In fact, if they mess with you, I would stop paying taxes if you had a land patent. And show others to do the same. With less taxes coming in, the government will try to grab more, or wither. And government needs to be pruned like a weed!

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine February 25, 18:23

      I’ve never heard of this. Do you know if you can get land patents anywhere, or only in certain areas? Where’s a good place to go to learn about this? Thanks!

      Reply to this comment
      • Ryan February 25, 23:00

        Magic Bill, great comment and every American that has property not attached to an HOA or association of the like, should file a land patent on their property.

        Elaine, I went to YouTube and quickly found a reference video to get you and anyone else interested pointed in the right direction.

        Watch “Land Patent! Sovereign Right to your Property! Never can be taken by Government or a Bank!!!” on YouTube

        If people read and understand the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) for their local municipal governments and courts, they will realize the the “investment” money accumulated from legal proceedings, fines, ect, can take place for property taxes the living and breathing people pay to pay for ALL the local, municipal and state government expenses and then some. American people need to be encouraged to stop paying the UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAXES so corrupt and treasonous corporate government agencies are put on the spot for where all the money recieved by fines, legal proceedings, ect are actually going and being used. Most of the CAFR revenue is in surplus of billions and sitting in offshore accounts for lawyers, judges and politicians.

        Reply to this comment
    • Lisa February 26, 02:28

      Good idea. But once taxes are a certain amount of time behind, investors or anyone can pay them. Original owner can pay the person who paid them with interest. Or, if they don’t, after a certain time, you own the house. Hard part is evictions. If no one pays taxes, then the city sells house to collect.

      Reply to this comment
  4. lattelady9 February 25, 15:14

    It’s called Communism!!! They are getting ready for the One World Order!!!

    Reply to this comment
  5. jerseykris February 25, 15:33


    The examples you cite are from between 7-8 years ago.
    In fact, doing a quick google search, it’s kind of hard to find more recent news stories where this is actually happening.
    Yes, municipalities have laws on the books regarding urban and sub-urban gardens. But most of those laws seem to involve weed maintenance or laws against growing a garden on your front lawn (haven’t found many that prohibit to what you do on the back of your property though, or enclosed properties)

    I think this is just a bait article to get us all riled up about a problem that just doesn’t really exist, but for a handful of citable cases.

    Reply to this comment
    • Torn February 25, 16:08

      Look at the current situation in Venezuela. Then tell me how relevant this is!

      Reply to this comment
      • Jerseykris February 25, 18:18

        Last I checked, Venezuela isn’t a US state, county or municipality.
        Please cite anywhere in America where municipal laws are akin to Venezuela’s on domestic gardening.
        Please cite anywhere, and I mean anywhere, in the US that has food problems akin to Venezuela. And if anywhere actually did – just how long do you think your garden on your front lawn would be intact?

        Reply to this comment
        • Flame February 25, 22:10

          Torn’s comment is another way of saying, “If it can happen in Venezuela, it can happen here — maybe not tomorrow, but it can happen.”

          Reply to this comment
      • judes February 25, 21:08

        Venezuela has oil, the largest reserves in the world, which is why we are getting ready to invade them just like we did Libya and Iraq. Has nothing to do with gardening.

        and yes HOA’s have crazy harsh rules but those are private not government rules. Don’t buy or rent in hoas. problem solved.

        Reply to this comment
        • davlow February 26, 06:12

          I don’t know where you have been lately but with the new drilling techniques the United States has the largest oil and gas reserves of any country in the world.

          Reply to this comment
          • Flame February 26, 20:29

            I’ve also read that, contrary to what we were taught in school, oil is not the product of decaying dinosaurs or ancient vegetation but is produced (and continues to be produced) by heat, pressure and geology. Scientists have made rudimentary forms of petroleum in labs. The biological components are actually contamination that gets into the oil after the fact. Therefore, the frantic reports of previous years that we are “reaching peak oil” and will run out of it are false. It was not very long ago that they discovered the massive oil field up in the Dakotas (I forget the name of it). Today, the US does have the largest reserves.

            That said, I heard Venezuela’s Maduro on TV just this a.m. accusing Trump of planning an invasion — which I do not believe. JerseyKris has probably been listening to too much Maduro and not enough Trump.

            Reply to this comment
        • Graywolf12 May 10, 13:46

          Go back to huffing poof or sloon with those left wing lies. Most people here know that war talk is for the looney left, and not true. Spelling is as I intended.

          Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 25, 18:45

      Depends where you live. Most subdivisions with an HOA have crazy strict rules about not only what you can grow, but also lawn ornaments, color of your trim, no windchimes etc. Just another example of officious micromanagement to go along with restrictions on water harvesting or keeping chickens, but people go along with this crap which only encourages it. If more people spoke out against this stuff maybe they could change the status quo.

      Reply to this comment
      • PB- dave February 25, 20:33

        It’s a vicious circle, move to a neighborhood with covenants to protect the value of your house, then give up personal freedoms , give up the rules and the house next door gets painted purple with pink trim and another across the street has his 16 year-old kids car sitting in pieces on the front yard….. sitting on a lot big enough not to see any neighbors is the best bet, but not practical for everyone.

        Reply to this comment
      • Allen May 10, 04:54

        Why do you think there are only so many rich and one hell of a lot poor. Mostly 75% of those poor are sheep/followers/puppets There will always be that 75% that will do what they are told. Unfortunately that is the bigger percentage. You see it on the road with two lanes that turn right and everyone for a 30 car length is in the one far left lane. Thus because of people like that government and private groups can pass bills that will be followed and excepted. No matter how bad they are.

        Reply to this comment
    • Pooh Bear February 25, 19:22

      There is a law on the books in my state that says that a woman can not drive with high heals on. It is not enforced but if they want to enforce it no ticket the lady goes straight to jail. Oh yea you can’t drive barefooted either.

      Reply to this comment
      • WtrDsgnr February 25, 23:14

        Where I live, there is a law still on the books that women cannot wear high heels downtown. It’s not enforced unless you fall, whether relevant or not. Yes, this is U.S. state.

        Reply to this comment
    • CarmenO February 26, 11:42

      You are as clueless as it get! Don’t people like you actually read. Like I suggested to someone else, try typing: Simulated Reserve and Corridor System to protect biodiversity It’s a map of what the UN wants for the US, same as the leaders of the Democratic party. Trump is president, but the US has elections for the position every 4 years and the other side has a lot of dead, among others, voters. You are the one who is behind the times.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Torn February 25, 16:05

    If you don’t believe food is King, look at the current situation in Venezuela. They are burning food trucks coming in from neighboring countries. Populations who cannot get food except from the despots ruling class are easier to control.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Stan February 25, 16:11

    planting a garden that is visible and or causes ANY friction with anyone – the neighbor or the city is a fools errand. It tosses opsec right out the window. You need almost an acre of land to feed one person. Virtually all home gardens will have no meaning full caloric content. You would be far better off storing some rice and beans if food security is s concern.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie February 26, 00:46

      Stan, Do you garden? My husband and I garden for many years on a one acre plot, we probably had a quarter of that acre cultivated for our garden. On one quarter acre we would can at least 1500 quarts of vegetables per year. These included tomatoes for, tomato sauces, tomato paste and spaghetti and pizza sauce, sweet bell peppers, corn both yellow and white, bush green beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, radishes, and squash usally yellow and patty pan as well as zucchini. No you don’t need an acre just good growing practices.

      Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 28, 18:25

      True, but you can also grow a few things to give variety to your diet or could be traded for other things. Dried peppers and tomatoes or herbs will make your beans and rice taste a whole lot better.

      Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe February 28, 19:14

      Stan, an acre per person? Do you realize how much food one acre can produce? I have a family of seven and my garden is 33 feet by 65 feet and it is more than enough to supply us with what is grown. I can more than we eat to keep from just throwing away. Wish I had one acre to plant would be more to put up for the future.

      Reply to this comment
  8. chickenpatti13 February 25, 16:18

    Living in the country rights are being infringed upon,too.I have to fight w/ local law about loose dogs killing my chickens.I was told it was my fault for having loose chickens in my yard and local leash laws were ignored.I finally started exercising my right to protect my livestock,which they tried to deny me,and started shooting the dogs.Problem solved after 14 yrs and over 100 hundred dead chickens.Government is not your friend…..

    Reply to this comment
  9. Dupin February 25, 16:25

    The North Central Texas suburb town that I live in is fairly highly regulated, but not to that point that I’ve seen. I don’t have veggies in my front yard, but I have planted half my hell-strip (the area between the sidewalk and the street) as an herb garden, with rosemary, artemisia, yarrow, sage, Mexican mint marigold and other smaller herbs with no problem and part of my front yard is naturalized with Texas native plants. I’ve had no problems now for several years. It may be a plus that my neighborhood doesn’t have a HOA. I do my veggies in the backyard since I get more sunlight there. The only full sun I get in the front is along the side of the road, as I have a couple of good-sized trees that shade most of the front. If you have any recommendations for fruits or veggies that can handle some shade, I might try those.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Janeth February 25, 16:27

    What does this say about city/county ordinances and the way our government is structured? It says the wrong people are making the rules. You cannot grow tomatoes or peppers?? On your own property?? BS!! Come into my yard and meet my 178lb Rottweiler LeBron…

    Reply to this comment
  11. Allen February 25, 16:43

    I am starting a very small garden outside this spring just 3 x 6 ft because I know next to nothing about growing last year was my first try I did tomatoes and carrots, with potatoes growing in a 5 gallon jug. everything died. Did a little research going try again this spring. But with the issues posted above. If I can make it work I think I’ll start growing indoors, did some reading on making a hydroponic garden. I hear in some cases you can grow up to 5 times as much in 1/4 the space. I’d be happy with double at this point. Any way that is something for the future. I live in a 3 bedroom house with the third bedroom used as storage that would make a lovely garden. Right now the only thing holding me back is cost. When your retired even a little money can be a lot of money. But my first try I have planed is Tomatoes, potatoes, What ever bean they say is the easiest and several spices. Hopefully next year. I also think that they can’t enforce any laws if it’s grown indoors am I right on that.

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine February 25, 18:26

      Look up Marjory Wildcraft, and listen to some of her stuff. She has all kinds of people that come on and tell you how to do stuff to make your garden good (that have learned trial and error) and there is some way cool permaculture and stuff! I remember one lady that came on, and her first year lots of her stuff didn’t come up and what did died, and she lets you know what happened so you do better!

      Reply to this comment
      • WtrDsgnr February 25, 23:20

        Marjorie is great! I’ve been following her for two years plus now.

        Reply to this comment
      • Hoosier Homesteader February 25, 23:39

        Elaine, with such a small area you should easily be able to mulch your garden with grass clippings. It’ll feed your soil, and keep weeds down, and hold in moisture. Don’t forget to water too. Veggie plants need water.

        Reply to this comment
    • NC J February 25, 18:44

      Do some research on straw bale gardens. It’s super easy and requires minimal nutrients. You won’t have to tear up your yard and the bales make a great addition to compost when you’re finished. I’ve been doing it for a couple years now and as long as I can get the straw I’m sticking with it.
      And luckily, I live in VERY rural NC.

      Reply to this comment
      • Dupin February 25, 19:04

        The one concern I have with the straw bale gardens is the amount of pesticides and herbicides sprayed on straw and hay. Sometimes glyphosates (RoundUp) are sprayed so they will all brown up at the same time for baling, which can potentially keep your plants from growing, and of course the chemicals can leach into your food as well.

        Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 25, 20:35

      Check out local dump “re-stores” or swapping centers. A lot of good things can be found free or cheap there, and you may find some grow lights or hydroponic systems. Just a note, though. Utility companies have a deal with the cops to let them know if your usage goes way up – they’re looking for marijuana growing operations, not peppers and onions, but they MIGHT show up with a search warrant. Just be cool but be aware of this. Good luck! 😉

      Reply to this comment
    • judes February 25, 21:11

      don’t let this article scare you off from gardening outside. You would have to work pretty hard to find a local government that’s going to stop you from gardening and the chances are you live somewhere where you are allowed to Garden

      though indoor gardening is great in the winter

      Reply to this comment
  12. Sheepdog February 25, 17:12

    I agree. At some point people will have to be brave and unite. Maybe end up in an expensive class action for the city, or one the HOAs cannot afford either. Basically the people are being bullied by our govt. Something we are working hard to get out of our schools yet we allow it by the govt.? Bit of a oxymoron. And what message is that sending our kids. This is not just about food.

    There are lawyers out there that like a good fight for the name and resume building. I had one such fight with such an attorney over imminent domain laws and won against a very big city. We all knew going in it was more then the surface. The case was used with many others to lobby for changes in laws that insure our rights. Odd we have to fight to insure our rights, but you simply need to go back to see this will always be the case in our world.

    For the immediate problem consider growing as much as you can in windows, indoors, and maybe close in decks and porches when possible. The support groups that fight for our rights instead of sending your money to other countries. Check the charity you support to insure they are using your money how you want it used, if not find a food rights organization and help them help you.

    I had to do some leg work to find help with my imminent domain issues. You cannot succumb to being bullied and gain success.

    Consider starting your work with social media, school projects, having citizens attend all meetings and drag them out very long… something being annoying will help. But like with all good spoiled children… it gets worse before it gets better. But what do you do. Don’t stop, be consistent, and fire those you don’t like by vote in the ones who will do what the people want.

    The brave ones who fight alone is only a drop in the bucket. The only way change can be made is if we all stick together and support those who are willing to fight. So give to those organizations to fight for your rights. The bullies will not stop until you make them.

    This is really a big fight, and they count on us as a nation becoming lazy and complacent… and many times they get you to fight for things that will solve no issues, and forget about the real issues at hand. That is by design, not accident.

    Get kids to march for food, air, power, land and water rights and safety, because without that not much else matters.

    Thank you to all that do mount a fight, and thank you for reading. Now it is time to do your part in any way you can.

    I will end with…
    Before he left the Air Force, Baker said he once sat in on a talk given by an Army lieutenant colonel who told the audience there are three kinds of people in the world: Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. He says most people are sheep preyed upon by wolves, whom he sees largely as government bureaucrats and agencies. And then there are sheepdogs, the protectors of the sheep against the wolves.

    “I’m a sheepdog,” Baker said. “I always have been.”

    Learn more:

    Reply to this comment
    • CarmenO February 26, 11:48

      The HOAs have contract that you HAVE TO SIGN to move in. The only option you have is to avoid them like a plague. Once you sign, you accept ALL their rules and regulation, current and future. And they can increase the fees as they see fit. It’s like signing you soul to the devil. I almost gave away my condo to get out of the place. Don’t regret it.

      Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 28, 18:22

      You can also practice what I call subversive gardening. Research edibles or herbal medicines that both will grow in your area AND are ornamental. There are many more than you might be aware of, and that people may not realize are food. Jerusalem artichoke, purple buckwheat, echinacia and sunflowers are a good start. Get some seed catalogs and start plotting.

      Reply to this comment
      • Flame March 1, 00:18

        Miss Kitty, I like your term “subversive gardening.” I just bought an online book over 200 pages on what they call permaculture (which is mentioned above). It includes much of what you are suggesting. And don’t overlook some plants that are normally considered weeds that have food value. I understand you can use all parts of the dandelion — not just leaves for salad. I believe they dry and grind the roots as a sub for coffee and make tea from the flowers. And mallow can be used like spinach, to name just a few.

        Reply to this comment
        • Miss Kitty March 1, 02:16

          There are many plants that were originally garden escapes from the early settlers ( like dandelion) that have been naturalized and are now common weeds, as well as native species used by aboriginal peoples for food and medicine. Be sure you harvest from areas that have not been treated with harmful chemicals or exposed to contaminants from car exhaust, etc. Peterson’s field guides are very good, and there are others. Calorie wise, vegetables and herbs are not the best choice, (high calorie for shtf) but the nutrients they contain can help keep you healthy and round out your diet. Grains might be the most difficult for suburban gardeners to grow in any useful quantity, but can be stockpiled. A balanced approach is always the most sensible. Potatoes of any kind are always worth trying as well, and can be grown successfully in garden or patio “lasagna” planters or grow bags.

          Reply to this comment
  13. young prepper February 25, 17:31

    although i am still young,and a teenager i’m no fool,im actually fairly wise for my age (thats no brag) and i personally am lucky enough to live in an extremely rural area with no hoa or anything of the sort, of course my father pays the bills and all that sort,but that isnt my point. my point is (as i go to a school fairly close to downtown,yes my dad drives a very long way to get me there) i personally see a lot of people who a lot of people who use this site will call “government sheep” and i frankly agree, back in 2008 before the stock market crashed,the stock brokers and people of the sort thought the stock market would never go down, essentially expecting its rise to never change. and i even met one person in particular (not going to say his name) who told me in these exact words “due to modern technology the world is so much easier,only a select few would survive if the clock turned back” and if the usa gets bombed or emp’d thats (Sort of) what will happen,so many will end their own lives out of weakness and inability to go on in such a harsh life, as of my writing this i am 15 years old. and i started browsing this site when i was around nine or so,just never commenting. and thus you can assume that i’ve read many articles on this site, and with each one i grow wiser, my apologies for the tangent but i digress,the government is slowly starting to exact absolute control over the usa (and i refuse to comment on the un considering i have no evidence nor theories on it.) and i simply pray for my generation and the ones after it,i pray that if absolute control ever is exacted,the many,as opposed to the few,will revolt and hopefully return power to the people as opposed to the government.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 25, 20:43

      Good for you! It’s sooo nice to see people your age who are interested in prepping and learning about being able to be more self-sufficient. I hope you have lots of support from your friends and family, but if you don’t know that WE all support you. Keep learning, have fun, and remember to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst and you can’t go wrong.

      Reply to this comment
      • young prepper February 28, 17:34

        as a millenial i’m constantly pounded with college and education that will more than likely not help me in the long run at all (ie calculus and who fredrick douglas was) let alone in a shtf scenario,and i’m also bombarded with “thats what you think” when i say “i’m probably gonna end up making most the things i need” so im not really supported by people in my personal life,nor am i condemned for my prepping, but either way i of course do appriciate the support from the users of this site,and i try to get my friends on this site by showing them the stranger articles (ie the article about brining meant titled “how to pickle meat”) so they get interested,but none the less,thank you. (also a few aspects of prepping are illegal for minors like owning guns and such but i know how to make a simple firearm if a crisis were to strike before im 18 and a gun owner)

        Reply to this comment
        • Miss Kitty March 1, 02:31

          Don’t forget that op-sec or operations security is one of the most important parts of prepping. If you tell a lot of people what you are doing, they might tell others who don’t know you and don’t care about you as a person – only viewing you and your family as a resource to be exploited in a shtf situation. And any knowledge you have of how to construct weapons should be shared only on a need to know basis with as few trusted people as possible. Word could get back to the wrong people, and if there was a terrorist attack in your area, you could wind up on the FBI or HS shortlist. Be careful and be safe.

          Reply to this comment
  14. Pepper February 25, 17:42

    I am commonly amazed by people who think an “Old Civil or Criminal Case” is Irrelevant.
    These cases represent “Precedent” and when justification for imposing some regulation or rule about how your own lands can be used, these cases serve as the basis for those legal arguments for restrictions of your rights as a landowner.
    Just because it happened some years ago does not mean it will not happen or cannot happen again.
    If I had a nickel for every time I heard “this is the United States and that cannot happen here” … I would be filthy rich.
    What strikes me as odd, is that these are the kinds of intrusions we used to attribute to the Soviet Union.
    “It cannot happen here” … Yeah Right
    As for the rest of us, the opposite view is why we Preppers exist.
    As for the rest of you … keep up the chant “It cannot happen here” … and pay no attention to your Lying Eyes Or Ears.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Elaine February 25, 18:29

    I am looking for a small (cheap) homestead out in the country. I want to have chickens, and you have to make sure with them you are in a place where you can have them. One lady who raises them gave an interview, and she said there are some places in towns you’re allowed to have them that you wouldn’t think you would be able to, and ALSO there are places out in the country where you would think you would be able to, and you can’t! She said ALWAYS to check that kind of thing out before you buy. So I do the same with gardens too. They want to dictate every last little move you can make; it’s disgusting!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Elaine February 25, 18:54

    I have turned down several places to buy because they have HOAs. Even out in the country, where you would think they wouldn’t be poking their noses! We already have feds and states and counties and cities ordering us around. I willl NOT move somewhere where there are even MORE busybody Aholes telling you more things to do (and of course NOT do)! My daughter lives in Jacksonville in a subdivision. They were told by their HOA last year that they have to ”resod” their yard! These people OBVIOUSLY lay awake at night just thinking up this kind of crap. And then on top of that you PAY them monthly, to harass you??? Thanks but NO thanks! (no, they did NOT resod their yard!)

    Reply to this comment
  17. Antilleotheclown February 25, 19:01

    Well that’s the very reason why I grow hydroponic veggies indoors so my neighbors don’t know my business and they can’t say a thing about that. But you should be able to grow what you want on your property you pay rent or mortgage on without problems from the neighbors. This spring I’m putting up a greenhouse in my back yard I can’t wait to see what the reaction will be.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Dupin February 25, 19:42

    Since we’re on gardening, just wanted to make this note. At Halloween, I have a lot of kids come by, and a few spotted the rosemary by the walkway and stopped to rub and smell it. One girl stopped and had her little sister smell it as well. When their primary thoughts are on costumes and candy, to see even a few suburbia kids recognize, stop and smell rosemary gives me hope for the world.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Fact Checker February 25, 21:48

    Just about the only positive memory I have of the Obama Admin was when his wife was imploring all American families — even those in apartments — to grow their own gardens. I gagged down an hour of Oprah to watch them both praise what many of us have known for decades.

    I’d already been doing it from my own childhood. But I bought a few copies of her books for various libraries in the hopes that some of her fans would take her challenge to heart. Very few tangible things are as wonderful as your own gardened food.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Ryan February 25, 23:05

    Magic Bill, great comment and every American that has property not attached to an HOA or association of the like, should file a land patent on their property.

    Elaine, I went to YouTube and quickly found a reference video to get you and anyone else interested pointed in the right direction.

    Watch “Land Patent! Sovereign Right to your Property! Never can be taken by Government or a Bank!!!” on YouTube

    If people read and understand the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) for their local municipal governments and courts, they will realize the the “investment” money accumulated from legal proceedings, fines, ect, can take place for property taxes the living and breathing people pay to pay for ALL the local, municipal and state government expenses and then some. American people need to be encouraged to stop paying the UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAXES so corrupt and treasonous corporate government agencies are put on the spot for where all the money recieved by fines, legal proceedings, ect are actually going and being used. Most of the CAFR revenue is in surplus of billions and sitting in offshore accounts for lawyers, judges and politicians for personal use and lobbying.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Karen February 26, 00:38

    Last year my township decided to use some of our taxes on a ‘good cause’, they sprayed for mosquitoes 3x a week. ALL my herbs, leafy greens and figs were inetable. 9 out of 12 koi died. I’ve been here 32 years. Don’t have room for a greenhouse or room inside. Still trying to find a solution

    Reply to this comment
    • Flame February 26, 20:52

      Karen, how sad. There are 2 products that I’ve used in very small quantity if you can afford them: EarthBoxes or GrowBoxes. They are almost identical except one has a larger water reservoir than the other, and they can be bought in bulk to save money.

      I’m planning to move and have visions of my front porch lined (like a railing) with about 10 of these boxes. Also, there is a product on the market called Mosquito Dunks (and I don’t think that’s the only such product). These are large tablets, safe for fish and pets, that you can put into any container with standing water. The product kills the mosquito larvae. Maybe we need to push our cities to use products such as this instead of the overwhelming poisons that kills things they weren’t intended to affect.

      Reply to this comment
  22. left coast chuck February 26, 02:13

    Some years ago Sunset Magazine, the magazine for graciously living yuppies on the left coast had an article about people growing vegetables in the parkway, that stretch of no-man’s land between the sidewalk and the street where, apparently, it is open range for dogs to poop.

    I can see why some cities would get involved in what folks plant in parkways or even, perhaps, their front yard. As in so many areas of human endeavor, there are those who exercise no sense whatsoever. The mag had pictures of folks who had vines growing out into the street and also partially blocking the sidewalk. So folks who are walking — yes, there actually are folks who walk in the PDRK. I don’t know what possesses them, but they do walk on the sidewalks— complain to city officials that they are having a tough time progressing down the sidewalk with pumpkins and squash creating a sort of natural obstacle course.

    I don’t know what was the initiating cause of public officials instituting action in the cases mentioned in the article, but I do know that one of the reasons why you don’t want to poke a stick into the beehive of officialdom is that once they start looking around, they try to find whatever esoteric rules they have to make you look worse than you actually are.

    Based on what I gleaned from the Sunset Magazine article, it is not against the rules in most cities in the PDRK to grow veggies in the parkway but it is against the rules to grow veggies that clutter the sidewalk and make passage there difficult and perhaps hazardous. Actually any plant matter impeding progress along a sidewalk is against city ordinances in most cities and towns. If you are responsible for growing such and don’t take steps to remedy the situation after being warned to do so by city authorities, they will take unpleasant steps to compel you to ameliorate the situation.

    A little uncommon sense (I no longer call it common sense as it is so rare these days as to warrant the sobriquet “uncommon sense,” goes a long way toward sleeping dogs remaining asleep.

    If one insists on having partially disassembled autos and various parts of autos in their front yard in a single family residential zone, then one can also expect confrontational exchanges with various city officials. That is just a kind of a duuhhhh result. If your front yard looks like the set from Ramar of the Jungle — I wonder how many reading this remember that TV series — again, you can eventually expect confrontational exchanges with local authorities. I think to expect otherwise is living just a little bit in a fantasy land.

    Reply to this comment
  23. left coast chuck February 26, 02:30

    This is from a website called “Legal Beagle”

    “Land patents are historical documents issued by the U.S. government that granted clear title to land, buildings and improvements to individual citizens. A land patent was believed by many to give the landowner an unassailable claim on his property, one that no government, taxing agency or court could override. If you’re searching for the record of a land patent, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is a great source of information

    “History of Land Patents
    “From the early 19th century, the General Land Office issued land patents in order to encourage settlement and development of land the nation gained through treaties with others. In effect, the rights in the land were transferred from the federal government to individual owners who had to go through an application process to win the patents. In theory, the rights granted were superior to any claims by other individuals, public agencies or governments and granted in perpetuity.
    “Land Patents and Taxes
    “Over generations, the rights granted by land patents were conveyed by deed to the subsequent purchasers and heirs of the properties. Although land patents still exist as historical documents, and may in theory still be in effect, they won’t relieve a property owner of tax liabilities or shelter him from a foreclosure due to mortgage default. In Florida and other states, property owners are subject to tax assessments unless they have been specifically exempted under state law. Petitioning to be removed from the tax rolls on the basis of a federal land patent will, in most cases, be met with a denial from the assessor and supporting opinion from the state’s attorney general office.
    “Federal Records Management
    “The Bureau of Land Management succeeded the General Land Office as the federal agency responsible for handling federally-owned land. The BLM offers a dedicated website that enables you to search for land patents as indexed in the National Archives. You can search by state, county or township; the site can associate an original patentee, assignee, or heir with a specific tract and provide date of the original patent. Patents in the database run from 1788 to the 1960s. Homestead patents, military warrant patents, patents obtained by treaties and patents obtained through cash purchase all reside in the BLM’s database.
    Tracking Down a Patent
    “By searching through the BLM’s land patent records, a researcher can find a wealth of genealogical information: original landowner, subsequent owners, how the land was granted or purchased and for what amount, and any claims to timber or mineral rights on the land. The site offers an image of the patent that can be downloaded and printed out; in addition, the BLM will issue a certified copy of the patent for a fee.

    Legal Beagle doesn’t give any background for his or her supposed legal expertise, but I suppose if one were interested enough to search it out, one could find out whether the writer is actually an attorney or not.

    I notice that the patents according to the article run to the 1960s. I believe it was sometime in the 1960s that program for filing for a homestead and getting land free from the federal government with the proviso that the land be “improved” ended. I was very interested in getting “free land” back then but unfortunately, all the land that was available for homestead was located in the desert and most was miles from any paved access with no utilities and no water. I really wasn’t interested in 40 acres located approximately 25 miles north of the two lane road between Indio and Blythe. My wife was a big city girl and really, really, really wasn’t interested in that which was what actually caused the search to kind of peter away.

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  24. Grammyprepper February 26, 02:44

    I did my ‘due diligence’ with my small town, and found that I could indeed have chickens, just not roosters even in the village limits. My hope is that my research with the village staff helped others out as well. I also hope that as we attain ‘city status’ with the next census, that will be grandfathered in. My thought is that it will be, as even the larger townships and even cities nearby also allow chickens, and even beekeeping! I refuse to move anywhere with an HOA. We are even contemplating leaving our semirural small town because it’s getting a little too crowded and ‘citified’ for us. We are renters, and while we are working on saving up to buy our own property, it’s not in the cards any time soon.

    Reply to this comment
  25. CarmenO February 26, 11:24

    When I moved to my current home, the first thing I did was go to city hall (the first work day after Christmas) and ask permission for a wildlife habitat. The snow was almost as tall as me. The mayor, was a wild flower fan, so I was given permission.They had no idea what I meant. It is now a Food Forest, wildlife habitat and tiny farm, in the middle of a town of lawns. I keep getting rid of sod. Lucky, the old folks across from the street had a (not so grand) tiny farm. They had been grandfathered in, so I made sure to “pretend” that so was I, being that they were across the street from me, in the old section of the town, before the town decided to get rid of the grandfathering. He died, so now I’m the tiny farm owner, but more people in the area are adding vegetables to their yards. I had permission, so it’s harder for the town to deny permission to others. There are now native bees in the area and a lots of birds have come in to the area.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Red Ant February 26, 14:02

    Well this is how I see it. We will become slaves to the big dogs… some of us are not able to do any thing for them selves. they have to be told what to do to live, BUT some of us are able to do more then even the big dog and when they find out that you can help your self, they fill threatened. they are weak and need to stop you, so they stay on top. wait till the next election and a Dem gets in to the big house. it will become BAD so BAD. we will fall Hard. Rep still have freedom or Dem and become a slave. no gun, no free will, no nothing but slavery for those that vote DEM. just wait and yall will see that it will come to you. Stand up and fight. don’t fall to the Devils way. this is our home and we need to stand together and fight for our rights and our freedom. I know some don’t like Trump but he did save us from slavery. vote him back again and freedom for a little longer. not much longer but a little bit longer. watch and you will see. its coming, the end of life as we all know it. JOHN 3:16

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 26, 20:21

      Speaking of urban farming, large buildings in Tokyo and other major cities in Japan have gardens on their roofs where city dwellers can maintain flower and vegetable gardens. Folks have found that bees do significantly better in hives on rooftops than they do in the country because pesticide usage is much lower in the cities than it is in the countryside where farms are located. Rooftop gardening is becoming very popular. I haven’t found out if the gardeners must pay rent to the building or if it is a service that the building owner allows. If it is currently free, I predict it won’t be long until some bean counter realizes that they could actually charge for allowing gardens on the roofs.

      Reply to this comment
      • Flame February 26, 21:08

        Chuck, I have seen TV shows about roof-top gardens in the US back in cities on the East Coast. I saw one where the gardener sold his produce to a local restaurant. Alas, the shows did not state anything about paying rent to the owner or such. There’s also a man in the DC area who is promoting aquaculture to grow fresh produce under artificial grow lights in abandoned train and subway tunnels. Somewhere on YouTube there’s a video of his 5-min. presentation on this to a congressional committee. Search YouTube for Jerry (or Jerome) Peloquin.

        Reply to this comment
  27. Aymeric March 2, 11:35

    I think your’re exgerating !!
    There are no real explanations on case details, when you ask yourself “Am I Exaggerating? Isn’t this all Blown Out of Proportion?”, you do just a political answer to you own question !!!

    Reply to this comment
  28. Judge Holden March 4, 00:54

    Haha, Preppers, go ahead and secure your land patent and quit paying your property tax. The taxing entity will act to seize your land and you will be in court only as long as it takes the Judge to tell you that the use of Land Patents as a defense against non-payment of taxes is totally without merit and you can pay up or go looking for a cardboard box (try for one with an Amazon logo) to live in. Don’t worry about land patents and UN 30, be diligent in researching broadly what ‘experts’ tell you (some of you jump all over the firearms articles here for wrong info, spend as much time learning about other issues as you do guns) and focus on the real threats out there. And remember The Constitution you all hold so dear guarantees the right to speak freely to everybody from AOC to Steve Bannon.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Bob May 8, 20:34

    And you thought you were FREE in america and you OWNED the property you paid for.. I grew a Garden in St Louis, MO and was cited for allowing Noxious Weeds to grow. The City equivalent of DNR came over to CUT them down because I refused to cut them or remove them. I told the individual that he had better not enter my yard as it was PRIVATE PROPERTY and he and the City needs to validate it holds ownership in MY property as well as to show me where they got the power and authority to act… “Public Health and Safety.” is the Authority…not Private health or Safety. I informed the City Individual that There exists NO CITY EASEMENT beyond the Sidewalk and therefore he can only enter if I say, and not the City. I did challenge the citation in the City Court was dismissed just because the authority to act was “Public Health and Safety,” and this was Private Property. .

    Reply to this comment
  30. Ben May 10, 16:17

    If a person decides to live off grid and enjoy freedom, it is smart not to move to communist cities/towns. If the city/town is communist, you can bet that parts of the rural community in that county is communist-minded.

    Reply to this comment
  31. Ben May 10, 16:18

    Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

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