|Well grown vegetables can be highly ornamental|
As Sonia Day writes in the Toronto Star, a Toronto family has been ordered by the City to replace their front yard vegetable garden… with sod. Yep, sod. It’s a bit of a shock, with all this talk of food security.
The garden clashes with a transportation by-law, apparently. If visibility is an issue, why not simply ask them to conform to height restrictions? Many an unkempt hedge cuts off the view of oncoming traffic. So why pick on the veggies?
Ironically, the City of Toronto Public Health website has a long scroll about Food Policy, that mentions urban agriculture and community gardens and is full of words like “spearheaded” and “championed” and “pioneered” in relation to the City’s good works. But this is one of the great divides between the abstractions of policy and the everyday realities of transportation bylaws.
This isn’t the first time the City and a homeowner have conflicted over their interpretation of a garden. Back in 2007, there was an uproar when the City mowed down the 12-year-old natural garden of a past-president of the North American Native Plant Society. Bylaws again. Looks like most of our city bylaws have something to do with transportation.
This all seems appropriate to think about on mayoral election day. Hope you’ll get out there and vote. And when your guy or gal gets elected, be sure to let them know what’s important to you. We can’t blame politicians for the way our city turns out if we don’t play a part in shaping it ourselves.