When the food safety act was passed by congress earlier this year, we knew that it would allow the FDA the authority to shut down any food growers they deemed unsafe. A story out of Michigan is dangerously close to that sort of situation, but on a smaller scale. Who knew that depending on your city codes could be illegal to grow vegetables in your own yard? Apparently if you live in Oak Park, MI thats exactly the case and you can ask Julie Bass all about it.
Bass front yard was dug up due to construction on sewer lines, and instead of sewing grass seeds over the soil it would be much more beneficial to plant a vegetable garden instead. Not only would it be cheaper to provide food for her family, but it would also be a sure fire way to avoid all the chemicals that usually come into contact with mass produced vegetables and teach her children about providing for themselves at the same time. The city planner for Oak Park doesnt quite agree with Julie though, and has already cited and fined her for her garden on the grounds that front yards arent suitable for gardens.
Suitable is the exact word used too, as the city code says All unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass, shrubbery, or other suitable live plant material. However, Oak Parks city planner has created his own definition for suitable as he refers to it as meaning common and claims that You can look all throughout the entire city and youll never find a vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.
Julie has an upcoming jury trial that she asked for herself, and hopefully her so-called peers that witness that trial will have more common sense. After all, she hasnt received any other complaints.
Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail For Planting Vegetable Garden: MyFoxDETROIT.com