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Urban Farming Advocates Working to Change Growth-Stunting Antiquated City Ordiance

Photo by Foodwoolf via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Think you can grow fruits, veggies, and flowers in your yard and sell the surplus to your friends, neighbors, and strangers? Think again.An ordinance put into law in 1946 makes selling the crops you grow in the City of Los Angeles illegal, and in light of the recently popularity of urban farming, a movement has grown to bring contemporary changes and clarification to this outdated law.

The seeds for change sprouted up in Silver Lake, when Tara Kolla of Silver Lake Farms--whose CSA is an LAist fave--discovered last year that she was violating the city's "truck gardening" laws:

LA City’s Department of Building & Safety ordered me to stop selling my flowers or pay a fine/serve six months in jail. They said selling homegrown flowers is illegal after all because it's not considered "Truck Gardening." Truck Gardening is allowed in LA City residential zones but City Planning’s codebook manual doesn’t have any information on what Truck Gardening is. Officials consulted Webster’s Dictionary for a definition of the term. Because Webster’s definition of Truck Gardening only mentions vegetables, City Planning interpreted this to mean that it’s illegal to sell anything grown in residential gardens unless it’s a vegetable. Fruit, flowers, seedlings? Not allowed! Too bad that broccoli’s a flower...

Confusing? Yes. Which is why Kolla and other urban farming advocates are pushing for a change. On Thursday, March 25th, a public hearing will be held in Van Nuys to discuss this legislation, and the public is invited to attend. To find out the time of the hearing, and the latest on the fight,
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