You are here: Home General Could Growing Your Own Food Land You In Jail? Could Growing Your Own Food Land You In Jail? A Michigan woman has been fined and threatened with jail time for planting a vegetable garden in her yard. This post includes ways you can support her cause. by Beth Buczynski July 11, 2011, 9:21 am 17 Comments Millions of people plant gardens to provide fresh food for their families at a fraction of grocery store prices. But recently, it seems that cities have launched a war against this simple act of self-sufficiency. For the past week, the online world has been ablaze with news that a Michigan woman has been fined and threatened with jail time for planting a vegetable garden in her yard. Seem impossible? Watch below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhPAHhwApA4 EatDrinkBetter reports: After a sewer pipe broke on their property, Julie Bass and her family had to dig up their whole front yard to repair it. Rather than plant a water-sucking lawn or ornamental plants, they opted to build a set of raised beds and grow food on their property instead. After checking with the zoning board, they learned that the city of Oak Park allows decorative plantings, and Bass felt that a beautiful yard full of fruits and veggies would fit the bill. But soon after getting the plants in the ground, the Bass family got an unexpected visit from the City Planner for the city of Oak Park, Michigan, who recited the following portion of city code with an amazing lack of perspective or understanding: “All unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass, shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.” This means a) somehow vegetables aren’t considered suitable live plant material and b) if Julie Bass had chosen to instead pave over her entire lawn with asphalt, the City would have left her alone. How You Can Help Starting today, Natural News is urging real food advocates to bombard the Oak Park City Planner’s office with phone, fax and email complaints that point out the inappropriate interpretation of city code and the wisdom of planting a vegetable garden. Action Item #1) Sign the online petition! It already has 14,000 signatures (as of this writing) and lots more on the way! https://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/oak-park-hates-veggies/ Action Item #2) Contact Oak Park city officials, including City Planner Kevin Rulkowski: Phone:248-691-7450 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to CC the City Manager Rick Fox who needs to be kept in the loop so he understands the gravity of Rulkowski’s actions: Phone:248-691-7406 Email:email@example.com If you wish, you may also cc the Mayor of Oak Park,Gerald E. Naftaly: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Action Item #3) Follow developments on Julie’s blog, which you will find at: https://oakparkhatesveggies.wordpres… She has a “donate here” button on the top of the page where you can donate to her legal defense fund (to help pay some of her legal bills). Please consider making a donation to this cause. She is now being represented by Solomon M. Radner, founder of Radner Law Group (in the Detroit area). ***Remember: if you choose to contact Oak Park city officials, keep it respectful and heart-felt. Threats or insults will not help this cause. Related Reading: Tips for Growing and Sharing Your Own Food Big Vegetables In Small Spaces: How To Start A Container Garden Image Credit: Flickr – ksuyin See more Previous article Summertime, and the Green Living is Easy (With a Chance to Win the Eco-friendly Vacation of Your Dreams!) Next article The Art of Raw Food Winner 13 Pings & Trackbacks Pingback:Build This Automated Greenhouse For A Garden Without The Work – Insteading Pingback:Sustainability 101: Eating Fish And Seafood – Insteading Pingback:S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act 111th Congress 2009-2010 « Herb Corner Pingback:Grow Your Own: Top 5 Yard-Sharing Websites – Insteading Pingback:Grow Your Own: Top 5 Yard-Sharing Websites - Enviro Rides Pingback:Real Food Advocates Collaborate For 2011 Food & Freedom Ride – Insteading Pingback:Permaculture in the 'Burbs Shouldn't Cost You Your House | Sustainablog Pingback:Cape Coral Verdict Makes Living Off the Grid Illegal in Florida Pingback:Florida Law Makes Living Off the Grid Illegal Pingback:Grow Your Own: Top 5 Yard-Sharing Websites • Nifty Homestead Pingback:Build This Automated Greenhouse For A Garden Without The Work • Insteading Pingback:Growing a Garden in Oak Park Could Send You to Jail Pingback:Sustainability 101: Eating Fish And Seafood • Insteading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.