The Food & Flowers Freedom Act

My wonderful friend and urban flower farmer, Tara Kolla (above and below) at Silverlake Farms, sent me a request to put out the word about a very long-ranging problem that urban farmers are having in Los Angeles at the moment.

For a number of years, Tara has grown exceedingly beautiful sweet peas, ranunculus and other flowers to sell at farmers' markets in Los Angeles. Many of you will know her and recognize her contagious enthusiasm for organic growing practices.

Lately, she has been thwarted in her efforts to grow flowers at her Silverlake home and sell them by an antiquated city ordinance (see below). In fact, the city has forbidden her from doing it.

I hope any Los Angelenos who read this blog will show their support for Tara and urban farmers across their city.

[From Tara]
"PROBLEM--In 1946, a Los Angeles municipal code known as the Truck Gardening Ordinance was written to allow the growing of vegetables in a residential (R1) zone for sale off-site.

What this means, however, is that it is prohibited for city dwellers in R1 zones to grow fruits, nuts, flowers or seedlings and sell them off-site - at local farmers’ markets for example.

Furthermore, no one at City Hall can agree on what Truck Gardening is.

We think it’s time for the City of Los Angeles to come into the 21st century and amend its municipal code to support the burgeoning urban farming movement. It’s time L.A. legalized urban farming in R1 zones as part of its commitment to greening our city.

SOLUTION--On July 8th, 2009, Council President Eric Garcetti introduced a motion to explore allowing “the cultivation of flowers, fruits, nuts or vegetables defined as the product of any tree, vine or plant, and that these products be allowed for use on-site or sale off-site.”

A group known as Urban Farming Advocates – Los Angeles, has named this motion the Food & Flowers Freedom Act. We’re asking for your support so that City Hall will change the law quickly and let L.A. become a leading center for urban farmers.

Urban farming provides access to more local, organic, affordable, fresh and nutritious food. In this time of economic crisis and rising food prices, urban farming can help create green jobs and stimulate the growth of artisanal home-based businesses. Urban farmers help build community bonds and bring a truly local flavor to farmers’ markets.

Angelinos care deeply about buying local organic produce. What about flowers? According to the California Cut Flower Commission, 80% of the flowers we buy are imported from overseas. Imported flowers are not tested for pesticide residues. Let urban farmers meet the rising demand for fresh, local, organic flowers!

Urban farmers can meet the needs of people for more locally grown, sustainably raised, pesticide-free food and flowers. We have the climate; we have the space. What we need are contemporary laws.

ACTION--If you live in Los Angeles please take a moment to support the Food & Flowers Freedom Act by writing to your Los Angeles City Councilmember. Tell her/him you want to support urban farming in Los Angeles. Tell her/him you want the Planning Department to expedite their work and propose ways to legalize urban farming in Los Angeles. Please cc Council President Eric Garcetti and send an email copy to Urban Farming Advocates – Los Angeles at

To find out who your local LA councilmember is, look


Gabrielle said...

Thanks so much for posting this

Babszilla said...

The "101 of Our Favorite Things" issue of Los Angeles magazine (August 2009) lists Tara Kolla at #56, naming her the Urban Farming Guru. (The mag even devoted a full page to this listing!) Having had the pleasure of meeting Tara, and witnessing her at her best (both in the "field" and at the Silverlake Market) I am saddened to see that everyone gets it, with the exception of the City of Los Angeles. Her cut-flower bouquets are as exquisite as they are simple. To forbid their sale and (even more importantly) to put in peril the entire urban farming movement is ridiculous. The antiquated law must go! As mentioned above, it's time for all good Angelenos to contact your LA City Councilmember.

Andrew said...

bastard people

Annie's Annuals said...

this is outrageous! seems LA bureaucrats would have better things to do than punish urban farmers.

Removalist Melbourne said...

This new implemented law about urban farming movement is adsurd!

recruitment new Zealand said...

hey thanks for the link to "local LA council member" this law is ridiculous!