Some lady in Michigan is being charged a misdemeanor for having her vegetable garden in her front yard. Apparently her neighbors think it is an eye sore and against code violation.
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.”Unbelievable! Someone get Michelle Obama on the phone! Does Jamie Oliver make house calls? Have these people ever tasted a fresh tomato? What is our nation coming to when someone is not allowed to grow vegetables in their yard, but instead is forced to have water-sucking, non-useful front yards?
This lady has started a blog to talk about this situation - http://oakparkhatesveggies.wordpress.com/. So if you are so inclined, head on over there and show her some support.
I am tempted to head up to Michigan right now and give those neighbors a piece of my mind! Who's with me? Road trip anyone?