During a week when many are questioning Americans' right to bear arms, may I propose another important discussion: the right to plant one's own food.
A photo that has 14,800 shares on Facebook—which we also shared on our newhope360 page—was originally posted a while ago to much oohing and aahing. Take a look because this is one seriously handsome garden:
Just last week the photo was posted again in connection with a disheartening turn of events for the garden's owners.
Grist reported that city officials across the country and in Canada are cracking down on gardens. Apparently, gardens such as these don't fly with the town's laws. The couple who owns this garden had to uproot it in two weeks.
One out of six people struggle with hunger, according to Feeding America. Is it really in our best interest to ban urban farming?
I'm taking the side of writer Sarah Laskow here who said it best, "It’s not the 1950s anymore: Not everyone needs to grow a perfectly manicured lawn, especially when vegetable gardens can look just as attractive, improve the soil (instead of requiring tons of pesticides), and provide fresh food."
Given recent events in our home state of Colorado, it's a backwards world when someone can easily buy and carry a gun but can't grow a few patches of harmless tomatoes in their yard.
A case for urban farms
And here's more evidence for why cities should accommodate gardens: Mother Jones reported that pop-up farms and gardens in urban areas can reduce violence. A University of Pennsylvania study found that thegreening of just 8 percent of vacant lots in Philadelphia reduced shootings in the surrounding areas over the course of 10 years.
Why? "People just became more in touch with their neighbors. People felt more connected to each other," said researcher Charles Branas.
Whether suburban or urban, people should have the right to nourish themselves from their land if they so choose. As this study shows, the benefits of being directly connected to our food go way beyond eating.
What do you think about urban farming bans? Share in the comments.