Eleven Year-Old’s Organic Veggie Stand Shut Down by California Mayor

Eleven Year-Old’s Organic Veggie Stand Shut Down by California Mayor

ByGroovy Green Aug 22, 2008

I think that Joel Satalin can add another chapter to his book Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal after reading this story.  I mean, really, a child’s veggie stand shut down for lack of permits?  What’s next, no lemonade stands or car wash fundraisers?

ABC News via ABA Journal:

Call it a rite of passage: children by the roadside peddling their homemade goodies to adults who are more than eager to drop a few cents into a makeshift cashbox.

But Katie and Sabrina Lewis’ veggie stand, in the town of Clayton, Calif., where they sold homegrown watermelons for $1, has been shuttered by town officials who told the girls’ parents that their daughters’ venture violated local zoning ordinances.

“I think that they’re wrong,” dad Mike Lewis said of the town officials. “Kids should be able to be kids.”

Of course kids should be able to be kids!  I think that this touches on a separate issue as well, one not mentioned in the article.  Shouldn’t people have the right to sell the food that they produced on their (albeit small) piece of land?  How does a roadside veggie stand devalue our neighborhoods?  Especially when it is selling organic food much cheaper than one can find in the “super” grocery store.  The last question is, what kind of ultra-conformist calls the mayor to complain about an “illegal” activity like this?

But Clayton Mayor Gregory Manning said he first heard of the girls’ operation this past April, after two residents called to ask if it was legal. Two months later, a police officer was sent to the stand to tell the Lewises that the girls were violating zoning regulations that prohibit commercial activities in a residential area.

The stand also violates health regulations, he said, which state that food can’t be sold without a permit.

Please check out the full ABC News article (video too).  If you feel compelled, here is the phone number for the City of Clayton government office – (925) 673-7300.  Be civil and constructive if you call.