California Officials Bust Major Organic Vegetable Ring and Citing Adolescent Food Felon

Katie Lewis was nine when she became a vegetable villain. Two years ago, she decided to sell organic zucchini and other homegrown produce on a little table in Clayton, California. Responding to complaints from two residents, Mayor Gregory Manning and other officials shutdown her down after a health code investigation.

Manning insists that this harsh action is not due to two cranks: “I find that for every person who calls you or writes a letter, there are 100 that feel the same.”

Official insists that she may petition for an variance to the zoning board.

What does the Mayor do with the ubiquitous lemonade stands during the summer? Manning insists that those stands are illegal as well but they tend only to last a couple of days — closing before the city can swoop in with badges and citations.

Frankly, it is best for everyone. Sure, Katie is peddling produce now, but this type of life of crime only leads to more serious offenses. Today, it is zucchini, tomorrow it is magic mushrooms, and then she is moving horse by the carload through Clayton, California.

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17 thoughts on “California Officials Bust Major Organic Vegetable Ring and Citing Adolescent Food Felon”

  1. Ohh my gosh im soooo scared about a little girl with a zucchini, thats like the next E coli scare right there,NO its a little girl selling veggies, whats next S.W.A.T taking down a paper boy, or how about the National Gaurd being called on a a boy mowing lawns to make some extra money,i understand that it they were grown in the ground but i think its more idiotic than some politicians, i know there are some rules about what to sell, bur she wasn’t trafficking truckloads to all of America it was just a few, and so what, this is just stupid and overrated, what the mayor needed to make it look like he was actually doing something, the go focus on the gangbangers and drug dealers, not little Suzy selling veggies on a street corner

  2. She clearly isn’t aware of her caste. Entrepreneurial encouragement encroaches on the elites, and will not be tolerated from the working class. Where could this lead to?

    I’m sure her vegetables are the same as you would find at a farmers market, or a grocery store, but without the effects of irradiation or vitamin loss.

    Gregory Manning hates children and is un-American.

    Next to his his election posters, there should be posters of crying children and their lemonade, zucchini or pumpkin stands and him shutting them down.

  3. There are strict controls regarding safety controls on foods meant to sell for human consumption.

    These controls are meant for large, industrial providers so that large numbers of people aren’t made sick. Everyone knows that when you buy fruit or food from children on the side of the road, you do so at your own risk. We really don’t need the government to protect us from children selling a few fruits and vegetables from their garden.

  4. The problem with this country isn’t the leaders.

    It’s the “busy bodies”. Those who think they know what’s best for everyone, and decide to force others to live under their idea of democracy.

    There’s an old lawyers addage I am sure all the professionals and students here have heard before, and it’s the one that our laws should be founded on.

    “My right to swing, ends where your nose begins”.

    Any justice offical shutting down a childrens lemonade stand, should be fired.

    Any citizen endorsing an offical shutting down a childrens lemonade stand, should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

  5. No, what you’re doing is accepting the unacceptable. Helping to bury us all in a never ending nightmare of ridiculous red tape.

    Lemonade stands are as American as apple pie and softball and requiring “licenses” for a few toddlers to set up a lemonade stand is the height of ridiculousness, and ensures our downward spiral into a full blown “Idiocracy”.

    The cops “felt terrible”? Tough. They should feel terrible, as should anyone accepting this sort of pinhead dancing “gotcha” justice.

    There is a tendency among legal professionals these days to set up the notion of the “law” as an idol unto itself. Never mind the population the law was meant to protect. Just focus on the law itself, and we will have more and more ridiculous stories like the one above.

    Laws are supposed to be liberating, not strangulating. Laws are supposed to make society a good place, not a chocking beaurucratic nightmare designed to play “gotcha” everytime someone farts off the wrong cheek.

    If we end up with a full blown police state, it won’t be because of some dictator enforcing his will on us.

    It will be because of statements like the ones above, tolerating and rationalizing the intolerable.

    It will be because sound, reasonable people make excuses and explanations for the inexcusable.

    It will be because we asked for it.

  6. Trust me, I’m usually the last person to defend Martha, but admittedly there is some relevance to her first post. There are strict controls regarding safety controls on foods meant to sell for human consumption. (I decline to argue whether the companies that are supposed to follow them actually do.) That being said, I haven’t read what penalties have been imposed on the girls family for this, but I would say that assuming no real damages were caused by the sales I would believe the city could just ask the parents to explain to the young girl why she can not sell her foods.

  7. This little juvenile delinquent got off with just a slurp!
    Read on!
    Cops shut down little girl’s lemonade stand
    Patrick Taney
    NAPLES, June 18, 2003 – A six-year-old girl was heartbroken when her small lemonade stand was put out of business because she didn’t have a temporary business permit. A neighbor called the police and her stand was shut down.


    “Gotta get ready for the sale,” said Abagail.

    Even though she’s only 6 years old, Abagail prepares for another day at work.

    “We like making money at our lemonade stand. We want it to stay cold so they can have cold lemonade on hot days,” she said.

    A young entrepreneur who does the cleaning even the advertising. And it is paying off.

    “We are making lots of tips in our tip jar,” said Abagail.

    But a few days ago, Abagail and her friends were put out of business by a neighbor.

    “We didn’t have a permit so she called the cops,” said Abagail.

    The police arrived and shut her down.

    “We had to take down our lemonade stand,” said Abagail.

    Abagail did not have a temporary business permit, which is technically a city violation.

    “So we had to do something else to play,” said Abagail.

    “I was kind of shocked because I didn’t know we needed a permit for 6 year old girls to sell lemonade,” said K.C. Shaw, Abagail’s mom.

    According to the city, they have to act on a formal complaint.

    “Normally we don’t get involved in it but once we do get a formal request we must take action,” said Al Hogrefe of the city of Naples.

    So Abagail’s mom went to the city code enforcement office with wallet in hand, prepared to buy a permit.

    “$35 every single time for a single use,” said Shaw.

    Not wanting to be sour, the city played Mr. Niceguy.

    “No we did not charge her, no,” said Hogrefe.

    They did finally get the permit.

    “Basically a blank check to have as many lemonade stands as we can stand,” said Shaw.

    So Abagail is back in business and learned laws can be tough, even for a six year old’s lemonade stand.

    Shaw said the police officers who shut down the stand felt terrible, but they had to do their job. One of the officers even bought a glass of lemonade from Abagail.

  8. martha is just another liberal who needs big government to control the market in order to protect the collective. I blame the liberal media.

  9. There was just a news story about a girl who was selling lemonade and she was shut down until the press got ahold of the story and the city relented. I cannot remember what city it was, but I believe it was somewhere out East. Maybe NYC. This organic felon case is similar in that both situations involved children selling the goods. Maybe the wiser people in the city government will come to their senses and allow her to sell her veggies.
    Martha h,
    How much do you get paid to spread your nonsense?

  10. 😐

    What, didn’t they have any good Lemonade stands in Clayton to knock over that day?

  11. “Today, it is zucchini, tomorrow it is ‘magic mushrooms'”

    a/k/a “friendly vegetables”

  12. Oh, and I forgot to say that in states like Minnesota, a person selling their own produce is not required to have a license to sell it. California laws may differ.

  13. Martha. Second post: off topic. First post, wrong.

    Depending on the state laws, perhaps not illegal at all. In Minnesota, where we practice agriculture, persons who grow and sell their own produce are under the jurisdiction of the state department of agriculture. Local communities who attempt to regulate ag are themselves in violation of state law.

    Also, bacteria causing health problems in produce is usually not because the vegetables were grown in the ground, but because the produce was contaminated by bacteria found in fecal matter. While this can occur as a result of organic methods, it usually occurs when folks fail to wash their hands before handling food. And frankly, that problem is more likely to be found at a lemonade stand than with one selling organic vegetables.

  14. Martha is trying to rack up McCain points. Yawn

    This fights right along with the FCC’s rationalization for everything. “We received 10 angry letters, that must mean this program offended 200 billion people.” Poor girl was just trying to sell some veggies

  15. OMG–this girl will turn to communisim! Shouldn’t the town encourage this girl’s entrepreneurial behavior? Granted veggies comes from the ground wherein lurks all matter of danger. And true, no one in their right mind understands the need to wash vegetables before eating them. Indeed this child was “the bad seed” in every way. Just thinking about a vegetable stand in my neighborhood makes me enraged. Good work fine citizens and, Mr. Mayor!

  16. In September 1987, the Biden campaign ran into serious trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, then-leader of the British Labour Party.

    Within days, it was also discovered that as a first-year law student at Syracuse Law School, Biden had plagiarized a law review article in a class paper he wrote. Biden said the act was inadvertent due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, and Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F.

    Biden also released his undergraduate grades, which started off poorly and remained unexceptional. Further, when questioned by a New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school Biden had claimed falsely to have graduated in the “top half” of his class, (when he actually graduated 76th in a class of 85) that he had attended on a full scholarship, and had received three degrees. In fact he had received two majors, History and Political Science, and a single B.A., as well as a half scholarship based on financial need.

    Faced with these revelations, Biden withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by “the exaggerated shadow” of his “mistakes”.

  17. She needs a license to sell the food.

    If someone had taken ill after buying food from her that was contaminated, you would be the first to be seeking to sue her parents out of their home.

    Don’t try to oversimplify this with the “cool aid stand” analogy. This is food that came from the ground where bacteria grows. Cool aid comes from water out of a tap with pre-packaged commodities as an ingrediant (sugar, lemon juice).

    Why do you put such lunacy on this blog?

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