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Food freedom alert: City authorities in Ferguson, Mo., threaten to tear down another fully legal front yard garden

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: home gardens, food freedom, zoning laws

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(NaturalNews) The city of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, is trying to intimidate local resident Karl Tricamo into removing his organic, front-yard produce garden for what it says are numerous violations of local zoning laws. However, Ferguson's zoning laws do not, in fact, prohibit the type of garden Tricamo cultivates in any way, which means the city is illegally harassing him without reason or justification.

Rather than cultivate a typical grass lawn, which is usually a water- and chemical-intensive endeavor, Tricamo decided instead to grow organic fruits and vegetables so he could feed his son healthy, chemical-free food. All of Tricamo's crops, after all, are heirloom, organic, non-GMO, and non-hybrid, and he maintains them with the utmost care and respect, ensuring that they are not a nuisance to his neighbors.

But Ferguson code enforcement officials allegedly began to pursue Tricamo after what they said was a complaint filed by a neighbor. Tricamo received several letters from the city petitioning him to remove the garden and replace it with a typical lawn in order to achieve "minimum standards," as well as at least six separate visits from code enforcement officials citing bogus code violations.

Ferguson code ordinances do not prohibit front-yard gardens

In several of the letters Tricamo received from city officials, code violations were specified that had nothing to do with front-yard gardens, and that in no way prohibited residents from cultivating them. Local media reporting on the issue have largely ignored this issue, but Tricamo himself has been posting links to detailed code provisions in forums and article comment sections in order to disseminate the truth.

You can view the city's code violation citations and their irrelevance to Tricamo's garden here (you may need to log in to Facebook to view this information): www.facebook.com

Despite its antiquity, Ferguson's ordinance codes actually permit the growing of fruits and vegetables both in the front and rear yards of urban residences. And yet Ferguson officials are spreading lies and misinformation, and are trying to strong-arm Tricamo into caving to their unlawful demands that he remove the garden, or at least make it much smaller than it is.

You can see pictures and video footage of Tricamo's well-kept, organic garden here: http://nocostl.com

Meanwhile, other local residents and neighbors have spoken out about the city's misplaced priorities in their unwarranted pursuit of Tricamo. While many Ferguson neighborhoods are riddled with homes that have unkempt lawns overgrown with weeds, or that are littered with trash and nuisance vehicles, the city is busy pursuing a responsible father cultivating a fully-legal organic garden in order to feed his family.

Tricamo says Ferguson officials' public claims that they are trying to work with him on the issue are untrue. After being repeatedly refused a meeting with code enforcement officials, Tricamo is now calling for a formal investigation to determine the real reasons why the city is harassing him and trying to shut down his garden.

Sources for this article include:


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