Friday, July 8, 2011

Plant A Garden - Go To Jail?!?!

Are vegetables and the like not vital to good health?  Supplying untold vitamins, minerals and affecting the body in ways that we don't fully understand.  We've heard the endless drumbeat of eating healthier and many people do that on a daily basis.

If you had the option....would you rather buy your vegetables from the local grocery or grow them yourself and know exactly how they were raised and with the pride of accomplishment?  I would and have grown them myself and as many of you know....there is absolutely no comparison.  Veggies that are picked from the garden in the morning and eaten the same day are worlds apart from those that are picked green and shipped end up in your hands many days later.

While gardens are wonderful things.....don't plant one in Oak Park, can go to jail!!

Read this article I found on The Agitator...

Oak Park, Michigan:
Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass, one Oak Park woman put in a vegetable garden and now the city is seeing green.
The list goes on: fresh basil, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cumbers and more all filling five large planter boxes that fill the Bass family’s front yard.
Julie Bass says, “We thought we’re minding our own business, doing something not ostentatious and certainly not obnoxious or nothing that is a blight on the neighborhood, so we didn’t think people would care very much.”
But some cared very much and called the city. The city then sent out code enforcement.
“They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard. We didn’t move them because we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, even according to city code we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . .
City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are what Basses see as suitable.
However, Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common. You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.”
So what is suitable? From another local news report:
 . . .  we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable.
“If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” he said.
God forbid your yard doesn’t include beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. It’s your job, Oak Park citizens, to give Kevin Rulkowski pretty things to look at. According to Bass’s blog, she’s demanding her right to a jury trial. So the city plans to throw the book at her.
our attorney spoke to the prosecutor today. (for the record, my crush on him is totally finished after today.)
his position: they are going to take this all the way.
officially, this means i am facing 93 days in jail if they win.
no joke.
 Thoughts??......Comments??....Concerns??  I have several.....and most wouldn't be fit to print.....
These local officials need to be redirected to more pressing matters of the city's business and resources....or be removed from office for failure of duty.


Alea Milham said...

This is really sad, but I have heard of it happening before. I have even heard of people going to great lengths to sneak edible landscaping into their front yard - strawberries used as ground covers etc. I do hope her city council comes to their senses and realizes that this is a much better use of space and water than a lawn!

Amateur Cook said...

That is disgraceful treatment by their council.

Are we all meant to tuck away our beautiful healthy vegetable crops in our back yards because they disgust neighbors who can't bear to look at them?

That reminds me of dirty minded men stashing porn videos to conceal them as others may be offended to see them.