Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lemon Trees are now Against the Law

This is so bizarre, I don't know where to begin. Are they just picking random things to test the limits of what we'll take or what?
From Natural News:

Several years ago, Bridget Donovan, who has now been dubbed "The Lemon Tree Lady," purchased a Meyer lemon tree from A resident of Wisconsin, Donovan purchased the tree legally and in full accordance with all federal and state laws regulating citrus transport, and had lovingly cultivated and cared for her indoor citrus plant for nearly three years.

Then, out of nowhere, Donovan received an unexpected letter from the USDA informing her that government officials were going to come and seize her tree and destroy it -- and that she was not going to be compensated for her loss. The letter also threatened that if Donovan was found to be in possession of "regulated citrus" again, she could be fined up to $60,000.

Donovan was shocked, to say the least, as her tree was not a "regulated citrus." The store from which she purchased it is fully legitimate, and she had done absolutely nothing wrong. But it turns out Donovan and many others who had also purchased similar citrus plants had faced, or were currently facing, the very same threats made against them by the USDA.

Most of those targeted simply surrendered their trees without trying to fight back, Donovan discovered. And while she, herself put up a hefty fight in trying to get honest answers in order to keep her tree, Donovan was eventually forced to surrender it as well. And worst of all, many of those who were told that a replacement tree would be in "compliance" later had those trees confiscated, too.

Why has the USDA been targeting lemon tree owners? The answer is unclear, other than that they are a supposed threat to the citrus industry. And a USDA official admitted to Donovan that the agency has been spying on those suspected of owning lemon trees, and targeting all found to be in possession with threats of fines and raids if they failed to give them up -- and the agency has been doing this without a valid warrant.

"I felt utterly violated, angry, and upset," Donovan is quoted as saying by HFA. "I pay my taxes, I obey the law, and this is how I was treated? I did nothing wrong. I would expect these action (sic) toward someone running a drug house, not someone who owned a lemon tree."

Be sure to read Donovan's entire shocking story here:

Someone could probably rework the lyrics to bring this song up to date for 1984 America:


  1. Your link to Bridget's letter is working. I found it here:

    Apparently Meyer Lemons (so delicious) cannot be purchased in Florida and shipped elsewhere, but there is no explanation, but I found this at The Citrus Guy:

    "This is what the USDA has to say about all this:
    The entire state of Florida is under quarantine for Citrus Greening Disease and Asian Citrus Psyllids.
    It is illegal to move live citrus plants, plant parts, budwood, or cuttings from Florida. (Note: Dooryard citrus fruit cannot be moved from Florida unless the fruit is packed at a certified packinghouse and has been issued a Limited Permit by USDA. Florida gift fruit must also come from a certified packinghouse and be shipped under a Limited Permit issued by USDA. In either case, dooryard citrus or gift fruit cannot be shipped to California, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

    If you are buying Citrus trees online, check to see where they are from. If they are in Florida, they should have some kind of warning like this on their website.
    Due to the widespread occurrence of Citrus Canker and Citrus Greening (Huanglongbing), the USDA placed the entire state of Florida under quarantine. It is against the law to ship or move trees outside the state. This is an action to protect the citrus industries in California, Texas, Arizona and Louisiana. Although we have never been allowed to ship to these states, the USDA feels this action is necessary to prevent a tree from Florida being moved into a citrus state by a homeowner or dealer.

    Along with the entire state of Florida, the parishes Orleans and Washington in Louisiana, and Charleston and Beaufort Counties in South Carolina, are under quarantine for Citrus Greening Disease and Asian Citrus Psyllids. You can not move Citrus trees from any of these places."

    This reminds me of when I was a kid and we would drive to California and entered the inspection stations. Any fruit or veggies in the car had to be thrown out, so as not to infect the superior California crop.

    Sounds to me like the USDA is having fun not bothering to explain the situation, if it is as serious as the The Citrus Guy makes it seem.


  2. Thanks Maggie!

    Once again, we have to go to a blogger to find out what's going on! lol

    Why would the USDA not explain this to her and why would they react 3 years after the fact? How can an indoor lemon tree in Wisconsin affect the Florida citrus market?

    It's not them enforcing a quarantine that bothers me, it's their police state tactics. At least she didn't have a gun in her face like some other encounters with the USDA.

    It seems that the point of enforcement should be at the Florida citrus nurseries, but that would make too much sense. No lets go find anyone who's bought a lemon tree in the past three years living in a northern border state. That'll protect us from citrus blights!


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