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Homeowner shocked by neighbor's 'ignorant' HOA complaint over garden: 'They were scared it was going to go in their backyard'

"I wouldn't let it."

'I wouldn't let it."

Photo Credit: Getty

One homeowner with a perfectly normal vegetable garden said they had to field outrageous complaints made to their homeowners association by a misinformed — or malicious — neighbor.

"The neighbors hate us and went to the HOA that we had something poisonous growing in our backyard," complained the frustrated Redditor in their post on r/gardening. "Here's my poisonous harvest!"

'I wouldn't let it."
Photo Credit: u/nierdo / Reddit

The accompanying photo shows a bountiful harvest of seven perfectly normal, perfectly ripe butternut squash.

We get it — not everyone likes their veggies. But there's a wide gulf between "not my favorite food" and "poison."

"Ah yes, the infamous Death-nut squash," said one sarcastic commenter.

"I suppose it could be dangerous if you threw it at your neighbor's head," said another user.

Sadly, the original poster couldn't just brush off the complaint. HOAs wield a lot of power — some even foreclosing on homes in their communities and selling them out from under the owners — so any HOA report needs to be treated as a serious issue. 

While the original poster may have had the opportunity to resolve the misunderstanding peacefully, they could also lose the right to garden on their property, denying them the benefits of free, healthy vegetables, richer soil, and purer air.

HOAs do generally have their own rules to abide by, however. "Is it against the rules to grow poisonous things?" one commenter pointed out. "Because I've got foxglove and daturas growing in my front yard, and everyone seems pretty happy with them."

"I'm not sure what the HOA's regulations are. Some people have oleander in the neighborhood," replied the original poster. As for the neighbor's real reason for complaining, they added, "Apparently they were scared it was going to go in their backyard. I wouldn't let it, and it had stopped putting energy into vining and was producing squash."

For homeowners who do find themselves in conflict with their HOA's rules, the best bet is often to follow the association's own process to have those rules changed.

And for those with extra butternut squash, here's a delicious vegan mac and cheese recipe that will help you make the most of it.

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