As the obsession with growing grass has not let up and the cost of living, including the price of food, sky-rockets, some people have coped with these rising pressures by becoming more self-sufficient.

After having grown a food forest for 4 years, I have moved to a new house, where I had to start a food forest from scratch. That’s when the harassment began. Neighbors calling into Memphis City Code enforcement about the height of the grass and the vines growing on the fence–all sources of food for the foraging pets I keep whose waste products go back out into the food forest to fertilize the plants.

Things have been recently escalating as a Code Enforcement employee showed up to my parents’ house to warn them that the city would condemn the house I’m currently living in if the grass wasn’t cut and the yard wasn’t “cleaned up”.

Even though I have explained repeatedly to these so-called city employees that I am using an otherwise useless grass lawn to grow food, they continue to harass me. Showing up multiple days in a row to encourage me to mow down all of the plants I’ve been working so hard to grow to offset the rising cost of food.

This behavior is truly criminal and could be just one of the hundred causes of why the city of Memphis is dying at such a fast rate. There is no point in having a yard if I can’t use it to grow food, for a freshly mown lawn is not edible, and I–and others–still need to eat.

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