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Monday, August 13, 2012

Gardening Rights are in Danger



There has been a disturbing trend in the past couple years of local officials outright attacking, through legal channels, people's gardens, homesteads, and other efforts to provide their families with food. Julie Bass, of "Oak Park Hates Veggies", has been the center of such attack (her story can be found here) and has published this open letter to officials regarding these attacks and has requested I repost it here:

Dear Sir/Madam:
In the past year or so, I have seen a growing assault on a specific type of individual freedom. A seemingly innocuous activity has drawn the ire of local officials, and when I tell you what it is, you will think it is so silly you just might laugh. You might even think that  paying attention to this issue is a waste of your limited time, but I can assure you from my own personal experience that it absolutely is not.
In June of 2011 I faced a 93 day jail sentence for growing vegetables in my front yard. Yes, you read that correctly. There was no other issue, no hidden criminal mischief, no homeowner’s association, no history of any other violations. There was nothing in the municipal code that prohibited growing vegetables in the front yard, nor was there anything, unsightly or even vaguely menacing. Yet I was charged with a misdemeanor. If my case was an isolated incident, we could just attribute it to an overzealous city planner and that would be the end of the story. 
But in September of 2011, Memphis high school teacher Adam Guerrero was ordered to dismantle a similar garden. In his case, he used the garden to educate students from the local high school about growing food, making soap and biodiesel, harvesting honey, and giving youth productive and constructive ways to use their time. For this he was dragged into court and labelled a troublemaker.
In June of 2012 Karl Tricamo of Ferguson, Missouri was ordered to tear up his front yard garden in spite of the fact that it clearly violated no zoning ordinance. He chose to stand his ground rather than capitulate to bullying by his city, but it was a difficult fight, and one that a law-abiding citizen should not have to wage. Karl won his fight too, but the city is planning to retaliate by drafting new and stricter gardening ordinances that will prevent him from continuing to plant in the future.
Full article:
http://adventuresofathriftymama.blogspot.fr/2012/08/gardening-rights.html






Vegetable Gardens Under Attack -

http://revmodo.com/2012/07/20/vegetable-gardens-under-attack/
In Drummondville, Quebec, one couple decided to turn their useless front lawn into a productive vegetable garden. While this seems like wonderful news, city officials ...


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