The Food and Flowers Freedom Act

Local food is coming back to Los Angeles. Homegrown Evolution is proud to be a part of a new group, the Urban Farming Advocates (UFA). Not in LA? Start your own UFA branch. City codes need to be changed everywhere! UFA activist Glen Dake posted the following notice on the Garden Council website:

Problem: In 1946, a Los Angeles municipal code known as the Truck Gardening Ordinance was written to allow the growing of vegetables in a residential (R1) zone for sale off-site.

What this means, however, is that it is prohibited for city dwellers in R1 zones to grow fruits, nuts, flowers or seedlings and sell them off-site – at local farmers’ markets for example.

Furthermore, no one at City Hall can agree on what Truck Gardening is.

We think it’s time for the City of Los Angeles to come into the 21st century and amend its municipal code to support the burgeoning urban farming movement. It’s time L.A. legalized urban farming in R1 zones as part of its commitment to greening our city.

SOLUTION:

On July 8th, 2009, Council President Eric Garcetti introduced a motion to explore allowing “the cultivation of flowers, fruits, nuts or vegetables defined as the product of any tree, vine or plant, and that these products be allowed for use on-site or sale off-site.”

A group known as Urban Farming Advocates – Los Angeles, has named this motion the Food & Flowers Freedom Act. We’re asking for your support so that City Hall will change the law quickly and let L.A. become a leading center for urban farmers.

Urban farming provides access to more local, organic, affordable, fresh and nutritious food. In this time of economic crisis and rising food prices, urban farming can help create green jobs and stimulate the growth of artisanal home-based businesses. Urban farmers help build community bonds and bring a truly local flavor to farmers’ markets.

Angelinos care deeply about buying local organic produce. What about flowers? According to the California Cut Flower Commission, 80% of the flowers we buy are imported from overseas. Imported flowers are not tested for pesticide residues. Let urban farmers meet the rising demand for fresh, organic flowers!

Urban farmers can meet the needs of people for more locally grown, sustainably raised, pesticide-free food and flowers. We have the climate; we have the space.

ACTION:

Please take a moment to support the Food & Flowers Freedom Act by writing to your Los Angeles City Councilmember. Tell her/him you want to support urban farming in Los Angeles. Tell her/him you want the Planning Department to expedite their work and propose ways to legalize urban farming in Los Angeles. Please cc Council President Eric Garcetti and send an email copy to Urban Farming Advocates – Los Angeles at [email protected]

To find out who is your local councilmember, go to this link: http://lacity.org/lacity/YourGovernment/CityCouncil/index.htm

You can also support the food and flowers freedom act by putting the banner above on your blog or website and linking back to this post: http://www.homegrownevolution.com/2009/08/food-and-flowers-freedom-act.html. Thanks!

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9 Comments

  1. Well, I *would* contact my City Councilmember, but here in distrct #2, we don’t have one at the moment! (The run-off elections are coming up in September and December.)

    Still, this is a great idea and I’m glad Eric Garcetti is behind it. Personally, I don’t sell my vegetable garden’s extras; I just force the produce onto friends and relatives. But it’s nice to know I could have the option.

  2. I am confused by the logic in the first two paragraphs of Dake’s post. If the 1946 legislation was written “to allow the growing of vegetables ina residential (R1) zone for sale off-site”, then what exactly is now prohibited? Was there wording requiring the R1 plot be undeveloped/uninhabited? Or is it just that ONLY vegetables were permitted to be grown/sold?

    It would be nice if they’d add at least eggs to the list if not dairy. I realize there’s probably legislation higher up that prohibits it, but still…

  3. It would be good to go above R1, also… apartment dwellers can grow in their yards and roofs.

    I like the graphic at the top of the post, too! Completely unrealistic that tomatoes and all the others would have such tiny root systems… but still a beautiful image with the water spraying. Where is that graphic from?

  4. Urban Farming Advocates sounds a LOT like the already well-established American Community Gardening Association – I’m here at the ACGA bi-national conference and this is the kind of thing we’re already involved in. I would say, more bang for your buck, join the ACGA and yes, of course!, support this ordinance and ask for eggs too!

    david

  5. I’d like to email my city council representative to voice my support but I live in West Hollywood which isn’t technically part of the City of Los Angeles.

  6. Yes! Please all you homegrowers and locavores everywhere, write to [email protected] to voice your support of the Food & Flowers Freedom Act. And don’t be shy to post your thoughts here or at http://www.lagardencouncil.org

    The law needs changing so that anyone in LA City who wants to grow organic flowers or fruit in their backyard and sell the harvest at local farmers’ markets can do so. Right now this is illegal and it makes no sense. If vegetables are legal, why aren’t flowers and fruit?

    I was growing organic flowers in my backyard for six years and selling them at the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market a mile from our house until Building & Safety ordered me to stop – even though City officials said three times over the past six years that growing flowers for sale off-site was OK. I hold all the proper permits and licenses.

    The Order To Comply I received in March from Building & Safety threatened a fine of $1,000 and/or six months imprisonment if I don’t stop growing flowers for market. Does this seem right to you?

    If you know Silver Lake Farms, you know my flowers. I can’t grow them for market any more until the Truck Gardening Ordinance gets changed. I’ve switched to farming vegetables and I’ll do it with as much love – but …

    Looking at the bigger picture, why shouldn’t we be able to grow flowers and fruit for sale off-site? Broccoli’s a flower! And what’s a tomato if it’s not a fruit?!

    The law makes no sense and you can help change it. Please write to Garcetti now!!! Thank you.

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