Going To Jail For Growing Food?

Michigan Woman Faces Jail Time

May Her Tribe Increase

In Oak Park, MI a woman came close to facing $100 fine and 93 days in jail for growing food in her front yard. 

First Julie Bass got a warning that they were violating city code. Oak Park considers front lawns with edible plantings unsightly. The summons reads: “All unpaved portions of the site should be planted with grass, ground cover, shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.” 

Food is clearly not considered suitable live plant material! The warning became a misdemeanor and then a date was set for a jury trial. 

The situation garnered Bass an army of international supporters after she began writing about it on a blog and a friend put up a Facebook page, “Oak Park Hates Veggies.”

In July of 2011, the charges were dropped — for now. City Prosecutor Eugene Lumberg warns: “I want to see where this vegetable garden is going and make a determination of whether or not to prosecute under the existing ordinance, write a new ordinance and (examine) the public welfare.” 

Asked if that meant this case could be resurrected, Lumberg said he couldn’t predict what would happen. 

“She may decide to grow a cornfield,” Lumberg said. “If she plows up a compost heap, what are (we) going to do?” 

Honestly, Mr. Lumberg I hope that is the biggest problem in Oak Park. What you’re gonna do is CELEBRATE the growth of real food, the reduction of garbage and the free rich fertilizer.

Hoorah for Julie Bass. May her tribe increase and may vegetable gardens, cornfields and compost heaps become the norm in front lawns all across the world!

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