Friday, August 06, 2010

CSA home drop offs nearly plowed under by city rules

This story is kind of unfortunate. It's great to have concerned neighbors unfortunately when they just phone the authorities sometimes there's more to the story than what you think there is. Although I understand, finding out the story while some crime is taking place can be risky.
A city investigator swooped into an Andersonville home Wednesday, on a tip that that folks inside were dealers.

The merchandise: locally grown organic carrots, cucumbers, green peppers, bulb fennel and garlic chives. Not to mention heirloom tomatoes.

The investigator from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection mistakenly believed the family was selling the produce from their front porch, as a neighbor had reported in a complaint to 311.

But the family explained that they were just members of a community supported agriculture (CSA) club. Like thousands of Chicago area residents, they buy shares in local farms during the winter and spring as payment for boxes of fresh produce during the summer and fall. Members pick up their boxes during specified hours at homes, churches, farmers markets and even downtown’s Aon building this year.

But the business affairs investigator had never heard of this concept and slapped the Andersonville family with a “cease and desist” order and left.
While that "cease & desist" order was eventually rescinded, there was plenty of back and forth. Even the Alderman's office couldn't ease this order. The investigator cited all types ordinances and laws such as there had to be a retail food license to sell food, although the CSA, doesn't sell food. Also you can't warehouse any goods in your own home.

Perhaps this neighbor was correct in not liking any increase traffic near their home. All this did was turn this into more of mess than it needed. Especially if a city investigator merely wants to cite regulations.

I got this story via the Edgewater Community Buzz blog who had this comment:
Just imagine, if they would have gone up and spoken to their neighbor they probably would have learned something....instead they just felt the need to rat on them.

Nice neighbor!

btw, I think it was my CSA pickup location that got busted but I'm not sure as the hosts were not there this week to ask.
Well said!

On and here's a CSA guide for the city!

1 comment:

Dangerous Dan said...

Nanny state? Overzealous regulators? I'm wondering if the fact that the Chicago government & bureaucracy is heavy on the (D) side of the political spectrum has any bearing on that.

Some smart person said we get the government we deserve. That is particularly true in a number of the megalopolises in the country.

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