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Old 05-21-2010, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,645 posts, read 48,753,850 times
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LOS ANGELES, May 21 (UPI) -- Los Angeles, which has a growing number of people selling home-grown fruit and vegetables, is halting enforcement of an ordinance against the practice.

The Los Angeles City Council said it is suspending enforcement of a 1946 ordinance and weighing a new measure, the Food and Flowers Freedom Act, which would allow for the growing of "berries, flowers, fruits, greens, herbs, ornamental plants, mushrooms, nuts, seedlings or vegetables for use on-site or sale or distribution off-site," the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Backyard gardens become source of income - UPI.com
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:26 PM
 
5,654 posts, read 17,614,981 times
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I thought you had to have a license to sell any kind of food or beverage. I thought you would have to be subject to agricultural inspections if you grow on your premises. Who knows what those people fertilize their gardens with!! Only in L.A...
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Escondido, CA
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I never heard about any ordinances against growing veggies for sale. That must be LA-specific. But I remember looking into selling stuff at farmers' markets in San Diego area. Just the up-front registration & inspection fees ran on the order of $100..150, each reinspection was $40 travel fee + $60/hour. And it was not clear how often inspections were required: quite possibly every 12 months or more often than that. You have to grow a lot of veggies just to pay off the fees.

I did some profitability calculations for citrus and avocado orchards, results were not encouraging. One acre of densely packed orchard would yield, under perfect conditions, $3,000..4,000/year of net profit, once you account for irrigation, fertilization, and picking. And one acre is obviously beyond standard "backyard garden".

It would be interesting to see if you can do better with veggies. At the first glance, we're looking at similar profits, maybe a little better (especially for exotics like eggplant or artichoke), 5-10k/acre. Need to check out harvest season farmers market prices.

Last edited by esmith143; 05-22-2010 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:16 AM
 
18,766 posts, read 56,528,724 times
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California never fails to amaze me. A lot of those laws have got to be protectionist for big agriculture. U-pick fields are common throughout the U.S..
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Maine
6,086 posts, read 11,673,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
I thought you had to have a license to sell any kind of food or beverage.
As long as I don't process the food I don't need any kind of license. I've been producing food for other people for 10-11 years.

Quote:
I thought you would have to be subject to agricultural inspections if you grow on your premises.
I have never been inspected by anyone. Think of the number of inspectors there are in this country versus the number of people selling food. Inspection every place that produces food is literally impossible. It might be a rule in LA but as a whole, it doesn't happen. Even USDA certified organic farms are certified out here without being inspected. I have a friend who hasn't been inspected in four years and still gets her USDA certification every year.

Quote:
Who knows what those people fertilize their gardens with!! Only in L.A...
That's the same for *everyone every where* and it's why we should know our food sources as closely as possible. Easier said than done unfortunately.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:06 AM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,740,120 times
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The old 1946 ordinance was basically a zoning law to encourage tract home development in large swaths of the San Fernando Valley which were formerly orchards. Nowdays urban gardens planted with heirloom veggies & exotic fruits are considered trendy, hip, progressive & yuppy, but back then toiling in the field was associated with war-time privation and Depression-era hardship, and even disparagingly with low-class migrant laborers like the Okies & Arkies who flooded into California during the Dustbowl era.
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