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Michigan woman faces jail time for planting vegetable garden

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From the “you can’t make this stuff up” category comes news that Oak Park, Michigan has declared war on vegetable gardens. According to WJBK in Detroit, Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six and gardener, is facing 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor for planting a vegetable garden in her front yard.

Julie Bass Garden in Oak Park, Michigan

Julie Bass Garden in Oak Park, Michigan

As seen in the photograph above, the garden consists of five raised beds with a mix of squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables and flowers. The city warned Bass that she was in violation of a city ordinance that says only “suitable” plant material is allowed in the front yard of city residences, and that vegetables didn’t fit the definition of suitable. When she refused to back down, the city charged her with a misdemeanor. She’s set to go to trial on July 26, when she faces up to 93 days in jail.

City planner Kevin Rulkowski told local Fox station WJBK that suitable means “common,” which he defines as lawn, nice shrubs, and flowers. “That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Call me crazy, but one has to wonder if this is the best use of expensive public resources.

More information here:

Facebook Page

Julie’s Blog

Online Petition

  • Mq316

    My friend Donna is  choosing to let the City of Oak Park know  her displeasure by sending a sealed packet of seeds to them. It would be nice if more than one packet of seeds showed up .

    Their address is:

    City of Oak Park……13600 Oak Park Blvd.
    …Oak Park, MI 48237.

    Tel: 248 691-7450.
    Fax: 248 691 7165.
    email
    krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us (planning director).
    rfox@ci.oak-park.mi.us (city manager).
    Also http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/ijurz/a_woman_who_couldnt_afford_to_buy_organic/

  • Afaef

    This is why Michigan is a dying state.

  • Pamela A German

    The house with the vegetable garden, looks so much nicer and neater, then most front yards! This is ridiculous!  Leave this family a lone! They are not planting anything bad! They are not bad people! And the front yard looks nice and neat!
    The city of Oak Park is getting laughed at for bothering this family! This family is doing nothing wrong!

  • Mchmlb

    I live in Oak Park & don`t want to see gardens planted in front yards.(We do have codes we have to follow)
    We have laws & the law is you cannot plant a garden in your front yard.
    (Plant your garden in the back yard along with your tacky plastic ornaments)
    Also,Why would ANYONE in their right mind want to eat the food after planting in soil that has been tainted with SEWAGE?

    • wes

      have you read the law ? Does it say the words you cant plant vegetables in your front yard? Have you heard of victory gardens? Dont oak park have city sewage? And them are raised bed the plants are  in by the way. I live in the thumb and we put cow shit on our garden , so am i out of my mind.? Do you go to your township meetings? or are you the closed minded person who complained?