Photography by Donna Griffith
1 Check for outdated bylaws
Over the past couple of years there have been several attention grabbing newspaper headlines about front yard vegetable gardens. In the summer of 2012, a couple in Drummondville, Que., was threatened with fines of up to $300 a day unless they removed their front yard vegetable garden. Why? No one's really sure. Apparently the bylaws state that 30 per cent of their front yard MUST be lawn. For no apparent reason. The case got international attention followed by an online petition that resulted in the city backing down and allowing—gasp—their residents to grow their own vegetables.
But that was just one municipality. In May 2013, a couple in Kitchener, Ont., came up against the same ruling. Of course the stakes in their garden were higher. I mean that literally. They had tomato stakes the bylaw officers thought were a safety hazard. If the stakes are removed, the city will allow the garden.
The point of all of this? Your front yard vegetable garden dreams may or may not be crushed by your municipality’s bylaws. I will leave it up to you as to whether you'd like to check on the legality of your vegetable garden.
If municipalities are so worried about edible front yards they'd best keep in mind that roses, begonias, dandelions, pansies and a host of other front yard staples are edible. So there.