In 2010, in DeKalb County, Georgia, a man was cited for growing too many vegetables on his own land.
Steve Miller had been growing a variety of vegetables for 15 years, and his neighbors support him. He sells what he grows at local markets and gives some away, he said.
"It's a way of life, like it's something in my blood,” Miller explains in this video.
The county says he grows more crops on his land than allowed under zoning regulations. Code enforcement officers began ticketing him for the zoning violation and for allegedly having unpermitted employees on the property.
Miller had his 2-acre property rezoned so that he could have his garden. But he still faced nearly $5,000 in fines.
Urban gardens like this are sprouting up across the U.S. These small-scale food production sites are a huge boon for the sustainable food movement.
Sadly, as in this case, archaic city zoning laws often run counter to the urban farming movement. There are outdated, old laws on the books, and this case is one of many that underscores the need to revise them for the times we live in, and for the future.
It should be a crime to fine a man for growing food!