Food Industry USDA shuts down 4 year olds garden

Published on September 2nd, 2013 | by Becky Striepe

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Rosie’s Garden Update: A Win for Growing Your Own Food!

Rosie's Garden Update

Last week we told you about a little girl’s vegetable garden that was in danger because of bureaucratic rules, and today I’m happy to share some good news: her garden is coming back next spring!

The subsidized housing development pulled out this four-year-old girl’s garden to do construction citing a rule against building structures on subsidized housing property. To protect this minor’s identity, folks following this story have been calling her “Rosie.” After a huge public outcry, property management has said that they are going to replace Rosie’s garden in the spring with a raised bed garden available to all of the tenants in the complex.

Rosie’s Garden Sprouting Controversy

Kitchen Gardeners International and The Healthy Home Economist point out that while this was a win for Rosie and for everyone living in that South Dakota apartment complex, it would have been even better if USDA had chimed in:

“it seems the USDA has been 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 anti-gardening harassment in the future.”

There also seems to be a question about whether this is actually a USDA rule, but the Examiner article where I’m seeing that information doesn’t have a source for the exact statement from USDA. If they did make that statement, it doesn’t sound like it addresses the same issue, since the property management company cited a rule against “structures” not “kitchen gardens” specifically. The problem sounds like it could be a rule that’s too broad, and in this case property management interpreted it to cover something that USDA may not have intended. If anyone has a lead on USDA’s exact statement on the matter, please drop it in the comments – I’d like to get some clarity there!

Image Credit: Kitchen Gardeners International





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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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