Jail For Planting a Vegetable Garden?

by Sarah Pope MGA Affiliate linksActivism, GardeningComments: 51

In the latest example of government run amok, Jill Bass of Oak Park, Michigan faces up to 93 days in jail for planting a beautifully maintained vegetable garden in her front yard. Ms. Bass has already been issued a ticket and now faces misdemeanor charges for her industriousness.

The cash strapped Oak Park, which should arguably spend its dwindling financial resources and efforts on more serious municipal matters, contends that Ms. Bass’ garden violates city code which requires front yards to consist of “suitable live plant material”.


Last time I checked, vegetables growing in a garden are indeed alive!  With regards to “suitable”, a plant that can be consumed by the people tending it does seem to qualify, don’t you think?

It seems the City of Oak Park considers pesticide and chemically fertilized grass to be more “suitable” front yard greenery than a humble vegetable garden.

Such foolishness reminds me of the stories I used to hear back in my Cold War school days when our Civics teacher would tell a roomful of wide eyed and incredulous children about Russian peasants being hauled off to jail for growing their own food!   In Communist societies, no one “owns” anything .. any vegetables that were grown had to be commissioned and approved by the State.

Nothing like that could ever happen in the good ‘ole US of A, right?

One can only hope that Ms. Bass’ neighbors and the community of Oak Park will flood the city phone lines with complaints over such over the top harassment.   Imagine that tax dollars are actually being used to pay for this outrage.

If you believe Ms. Bass has a right to grow a well maintained garden on her front yard, please go here to sign a petition to stop the harassment of her family by City authorities. The petition is close to the goal of 10,000 signatures.

Take a look at a picture of Ms. Bass’ vegetable garden and how beautifully it is maintained by clicking here.

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

Picture Credit

Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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