Disabled Mom & 4-Year-Old Girl Lose Their Garden Because Heartless Officials Won't Break the Rules

gardenOMG. Want to hear something that will really make your blood boil? A 4-year-old girl is losing the vegetable garden she tends to outside her subsidized housing unit because residents of the building are not allowed to have any sort of structure within landscaped areas.

The child uses the garden to grow fresh, healthy vegetables for her and her mother to eat -- something they cannot afford to buy right now. Did I mention the girl's mother is severely disabled and they're currently living on a fixed income of $628 a month?

The little garden is right outside their back door. In addition to providing them with food, it also gives the little girl something to keep her occupied and probably makes her feel like she's helping her mom in some way -- so what's the harm in letting her keep it?

Apparently the rules from the USDA's Rural Development Agency are way more important than the health and well being of this family, which is why the property management company for the building has ordered that the garden be taken out this week.


I'm sorry -- I fully understand that you have to enforce the rules sometimes so things don't get out of hand or, in this case, so residents don't wind up having something offensive outside of the units in the building. But how in the heck is a small vegetable garden going to hurt anyone? I highly doubt any of the other people who live in the building have a problem with it. If anything, they're probably happy to see a little girl learning some responsibility by helping out her mother instead of getting into some sort of mischief.

Plain and simple, this sounds like a case of people enforcing rules simply because they can -- because they want to prove that they have some sort of power over the residents in that building.

Ugh. I feel so horrible for that poor little girl and even more so for her mom who will have to console her when the garden is removed. Nothing about this situation is remotely close to being fair.

Do you think it's fair for this garden to be taken away?


Image via soommen/Flickr

gardening, girls


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nonmember avatar Jocelyn

Wow! I can't believe someone would do that.

nonmember avatar Lilac

This is very sad but they don't own the land. The property owner has the right to landscape it anyway he sees fit. Often these areas of housing are very poor and run down. If you click the link it appears she and her mother dug up some of the grass to plant vegetables. If she had a container garden instead there would be no issue. I lived in housing like this. I grew my veggies in pots and planters outside my back door. There was never an issue because they were my pots, my dirt and my plants on my back porch, not digging in the property lawn or blocking landscaping in any way.

Movie... Moviebuff

It sucks but they don't own the land and its a good lesson to the girl that somtimes like is unfair.

Jacee... Jacee2348

^^I'm thinking the girl might've already learned the "life is not fair" lesson by having a severely disabled mother and having to grow vegetables just to be able to eat.  Maybe it would be a nice change of pace in her short four years of life to learn that sometimes in life, you don't get shit on and people actually want to help you better your life instead of inserting their power over you.  Just sayin'...

jrphelps jrphelps

And yet they want people off of food stamps or don't give them enough to survive.  Enough with the government only stepping in when they see fit.  I would like to find out how to send a box of food to this family.

jrphelps jrphelps

You are right.  What part of life being fair is invovled here?  The fact that she is 4 years old & growing vegetables for her & her mother to survive & the almighty government steps in & takes that away?  Yes, she is being dealt all sorts of "life isn't fair" lessons. 

nonmember avatar April

While I understand that the garden is a needed thing for her family, I'm wondering if they were aware of the rules before they put it in? It seems to me that they should utilize freecycle or something similar, get some pots and transplant them into them

katyd... katydid620

If you click on the high lighted link in the above article you can read the full story with this update...

UPDATE 8/27/2013:  According to KGI, the property management company handling the 8-unit rental property where Rosie and Mary live and the property owner have mutually agreed to build the family a new raised bed vegetable garden for them and the other tenants next spring.  Unfortunately, it seems the USDA is a no show in the resolution process and has yet to respond to inquiries as to whether it will establish a policy to prevent this sort of subsidized housing harassment in the future.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

amazz... amazzonia

Thais country has serious issues

Rebecca Lynn Parker

This is not fair to the child and it breaks my heart how some people can be so heartless like that. I mean come on the little girl was taking care of a small garden there is nothing wrong with that and some people in my opinion are way too power hungry and will do anything to to assert power over anyone including a sweet 4 year old little girl.

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