Couple's Punishment for 'Illegal' Vegetable Garden Is Ridiculous (VIDEO)

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canadian front yard garden illegalOne major drawback of apartment living: Not being able to have your own garden -- which can be an invaluable source of homegrown, chemical-free food. Oh sure, you can keep plants, maybe even a few herbs on a window ledge, but I greatly envy those who have even just a small chunk of land to plant whatever they please. I especially envy a Canadian couple, Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp, who live in Drummondville, Quebec. They've got what looks like the entire Whole Foods produce section growing in their front yard! What's more, the cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, beets, onions, and Brussels sprouts and other vegetables grown by the couple have reportedly helped Beauchamp lose 75 pounds and Landry 25.

Nonetheless, we can't envy them that much -- given that they're under fire for said front yard garden. Apparently, it's illegal!

CBC News reports that the Drummondville town code states that a vegetable garden can take up 30 percent of a front yard at most. Obviously, Landry and Beauchamp's sprawling garden is in violation of this measurement. They were given two weeks to scale it back and the deadline is this Sunday. After that point, they'll be slammed with fines of between $100 and $300 each day. Plus, get this: CBC also notes that the city plans to make all front lawn vegetable gardens illegal this fall.

Ugh, so ridiculous! My heart goes out to the couple. It's so silly that they're being taken to task for this. It would even be one thing if their neighbors weren't down with it (which authorities claim is the case) or it was a serious eye sore, but that doesn't necessarily appear to be the case. In fact, Beauchamps says: 

[My neighbors] love it. Everybody is surprised by the kind of taste we can have from fresh vegetables.

I know that if I had neighbors with a veritable grocery store in their front yard, I'd love it! And it sounds like plenty of other people are supporting the couple's cause. There's even an online petition you can sign to save the garden.

For the time being, the couple doesn't plan on complying with the town's wishes, so guess time will tell what becomes of their beloved garden.

Here's a video the couple has posted on YouTube showing the building and growth of their crops ...

Do you think the couple should have to scale back their garden?


Image via Josee Landry/YouTube



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nonmember avatar Rach

How is this different from flowers in the front yard? They should have to follow ordinances about weeds and trash, who cares that the green stuff in the front is edible? It looks lovely!

paren... parentalrights1

Why on earth would someone's garden be a threat to society? why illegalize it? Afraid your grocery stores might lose a few customers?

nonmember avatar Cynthia

Let me first say that I am in no way opposed to home gardens. Where this couple went wrong was making it their FRONT yard. If it were their back yard they could have used their entire green space and no one could or would care. It's simply that it's the front yard that faces the street and is open to the public. Why they'd use the front yard where anyone can do anything to their garden is beyond me. Also, this is not like a federal offense or anything, simply a bylaw-which all communities have-be it a bylaw that states cats must be on leashes, or dictating what type of fencing you're allowed to use.

jrphelps jrphelps

This is ridiculous.  In my neighborhood, depending on the street you live on, you have little to NO back yard.  Our back yard is seriously about 3 feet between our house & the next property line that goes into a neighbors back yard that faces the adjacent street.  I always thought I wouldn't have room for a garden.  Until I saw a neighbor put one in their front yard.  Yes back yard gardens are the norm, probably why I didn't think of putting on in the front yard on my own ;)

MMbales MMbales

If they wanted to use every inch of green space on their property to grow food they should be able too. 


They don't own the property though MMbales. It's an apartment. Rules are rules no matter if they suck or not. My mom can't have windsocks or chimes in her front yard. Don't rent or buy into an association if you don't want to live with these kinds of rules. I know it sounds sucky but gardens do attract bugs, rodents and other critters. I wouldn't want one next to my front porch.

jharr... jharris109

Kind of looks like they have no back yard. Maybe they could put a fence around it, that's legal right? This is a pretty ridiculous law in my opinion...

Rumsita Rumsita

JAFE, I think you misread.  The author was lamenting that she doesn't have room to grow stuff because she lives in an apartment.  This Canadian couple appears to own their home, and therefore the front yard.

I also don't understand why a garden would be a bad thing.  Sure, it looks a little "overgrown" if you click through the link (where it mentions the couple's weight loss), but vegetable gardens typically use less water than grass does, and I bet they spend more time tending their yard than most of their neighbors do.  Maressa chose a pretty tame/early pic of the garden for the thumbnail above.

bookl... booklover74

Front yard gardens are wonderful, particularly when backyard ones aren't an option. Sometimes, size, shape, soil or even lots of trees make a backyard a bad spot for a garden.

I don't understand what is wrong with people who object to nieghbors having gardens. Lots of outside things attract bugs and animals, unless you plan to eliminate all things grown, including grass, that problem isn't going to go away when the garden does. Gardens lead to self sufficency, healthy eating and frankly they are just beautiful.

The couple in this story does own their own home (not apartment), says it right int he story. People should be able to plant vegetables the same as flowers, weather they rent or own. Thier township rules are wrong, petty and based on flawed logic. Time to change them, for the better. I would fight the order to downsize as well.

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