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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