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SECRETFUN
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Been too long, but today I am outraged: growing vegetables

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Oak Park, MI has threatened lady with jail for growing veggies in her front yard. t.co/X6q3zIg tinyurl.com/3ef8yzm

Yes, seriously. After the city dug up her yard instead of replanting grass (which perhaps the city should have done?) she put in raised beds and put in a garden. Vegetables are not inexpensive. By gardening in the front yard one can be social. This lady and her family are showing how to tend to something so it will grow and produce. Can you do that with flowers, sure, but vegetables and herbs are lovely too and provide more nourishment to the homeowner. Perhaps a kid will get his or her first taste off the vine? We live at a time where we fear people stay inside attached to electronics, do not eat nutritious food, are overweight, plus the US White House has a garden, and I think these gardens look well maintained, and the plants are suitable for the environment and location. At least this looks better than my yard and I have not been ticketed for anything. I suppose my neighbors are nicer or really do not care that much.

Near Detroit I would think they might have other 'unsuitable' things to deal with. Guess this one was something they felt they could handle.

Goes to court July 26 supposedly. Lady says she is fighting and demanding a jury trial. I hope her neighbors who support her break ground themselves.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v PHEBESS
    How ridiculous!!!!
    1873 days ago
  • v NOTBLUSHING
    And yes, the city should have replaced her front yard after destroying it. No doubt, it would have been cheaper than a lawsuit.
    1874 days ago
  • v SECRETFUN
    Good points notblushing (and imeatingwell, yes, I agree that I assume there was at least one complaint).

    The code's interpretation is pretty wide open it seems, but one never knows the full truth. I am interested to see what the courts have to say. In general I wish more people had interesting and healthy surroundings.
    1874 days ago
  • v NOTBLUSHING
    As a home gardener, and a City environmental representative, I see this type of situation a lot.
    Municipalities do have a right to write and enforce codes, and likewise, residents have property rights. I BELIEVE IN COMPROMISE. Refusing to bend makes you an asshat, no matter which side you're on.
    The city can "throw the book at her", but they'd better rewrite the book to spell out this code. As it's written, it is open to interpretation, and IMO the homeowner is within her rights. At most, she's guilty of not observing common sense. A front yard is a visually public area and subject to legal scrutiny.
    The city now has a public relations nightmare. They need to drop it.
    However, I see a very unfortunate bigger issue:
    "I have a bunch of little children and we take walks to come by and see everything growing. I think it's a very wonderful thing for our neighborhood," said (a) neighbor.
    This statement kind of makes it sound as if this is the only green plant material growing in the area, or that no other front yards are worthwhile to show to and discuss with the children.
    I'm always extremely saddened that for most people, the word "garden" has ONE meaning. It means growing edibles. We are not communicating the importance of growing ALL KINDS of plants (plants in general) to young people. The garden this homeowner has created is more self serving and less environmentally friendly and environmentally efficient than it COULD be. A dense, diverse, ornamental garden could easily provide superior environmental benefits, yet nobody thinks about marching their children out to show them how to do this.
    1874 days ago
  • v IMEATINGWELL
    I agree with you, but it may be her neighbors who reported her. I don't think that police generally do such things unless there are complaints.

    But, as I said, I agree with all that you said.
    1874 days ago
  • v BUTTERFLYAT38
    emoticon unreal!
    1874 days ago
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