Should Front Yard Vegetable Gardens Be Illegal?

April Peveteaux
15

sued for planting vegetable gardenIt's time to play "Watch Government Waste in Action!" Today's contestant is the city of Oak Park, Michigan. Here's what's going down: The powers-that-be in this Detroit suburb decided to pick a fight with a mom who started a vegetable garden in her front yard, and use their limited funds to take her to court for daring to grow a string bean. But wait, it gets better.

The vegetable farmer in question planted the garden after the city had torn up her front yard to repair a sewer line. So her response to the city trashing her yard was to improve the area. The city didn't like that. Huh?

I honestly don't get it. The city charged Julie Bass with a misdemeanor for planting basil, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It is apparently against (a very vague) code that does not allow for the growing of vegetables in the front yard. In fact, the exact language of the code is "... all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material."

The fight is due to the fact that Bass believes vegetables are suitable, and the city rep thinks that it is quite unsuitable to see a cucumber poking up in your front yard. So this town that has already furloughed its workers and cancelled the fireworks on the 4th of July has time and money to pursue a woman growing fresh food for her family. All over the difference of opinion of the definition of the word "suitable."

Julie Bass is set to go on trial later this month in a stunning waste of city money. While the city claims it was Bass who wanted the trial, and thus is to blame for the cost, it's pretty obvious that the woman is defending her right to grow food on her own property. I wouldn't pay a ticket either for doing something we all should be doing -- growing our own healthy food, saving our family money, and setting a good example for our children.

Do you think this mom is wrong for growing a vegetable garden in her front yard?

 

Image via net_efekt/Flickr

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