Dear Gentle Reader,

This morning’s local news had an interesting story…some possibe controversy over home gardens, urban agriculture, and where you can grow it, and where and what you can sell.  Although I am rather new to both gardening and the KC area, I was aware that there had been some controversy over these issues, especially with relation to Badseed Farm and Market, a local urban farm.  It seems that some of their neighbors didn’t like them and they had to change some of their practices, including where they sell their crops and getting rid of their chickens.

In any case, it looks like these new city ordinances are going to be generally good for the home gardener, urban agriculture, AND CSAs.  See below for some excerpts and explanations I pinched from a factsheet.

88-372-02 Urban Agriculture  The Urban Agriculture section is new, as are the categories of Home Garden, Community Garden, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

88-372-02-A. Home Garden  A garden maintained by one or more individuals who reside in a dwelling unit located on the subject property. Food and horticultural products grown in the home garden may be used for personal consumption or for donation or sale on-site. A home garden is an accessory use to a principal residential use.   Home Garden is included to acknowledge the home garden and clarify that although not previously codified, a home garden has always been permitted in Kansas City. Ordinances do not dictate placement of the garden, whether front, side, or rear yards. However, some neighborhoods and homes associations may have restrictions and covenants pertaining to home gardens.

88-372-02-B. Community Garden  An area of land managed and maintained by a group of individuals to grow and harvest food and horticultural products for personal or group consumption or for sale or donation. A community garden area may be divided into separate garden plots for cultivation by one or more individuals or may be farmed collectively by members of the group. A community garden may include common areas (e.g., hand tool storage sheds) maintained and used by the group. Community garden group members may or may not reside on the subject property. Sales and donation of food and horticultural products grown in the community garden may occur on-site. A community garden may be a principal or accessory use.   Community Garden also has not previously been codified, but has been a permitted use in Kansas City. There are many community gardens throughout the city.

88-372-02-C. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  An area of land managed and maintained by an individual or group of individuals to grow and harvest food and horticultural products for shareholder consumption or for sale or donation.  Under the CSA model, shareholders may arrange to work on the farm in exchange for a share of the crops and/or pay for a portion of the crop in advance. A CSA may be a principal or accessory use.   Community Supported Agriculture also has not previously been codified. There are a few CSAs in Kansas City. They may have operated legally under the “Agriculture, Crop” category as long as they did not have employees (including shareholders) and did not distribute produce or sell from the site. The proposed ordinance will allow a CSA to be a principal or accessory use of the land. In addition, shareholders may work and pick up produce on the farm. If a CSA desires to sell from the site, a special use permit is required for farms located in single-family residential districts, and a temporary use permit is required for those in other residential districts.

So, this looks like a really good thing.  Finally, some important issues are going to be codified in the city code, thereby making these activities easier and better for all.

I wonder how this will affect gardeners as The Slow Decline continues to progress?

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