Michigan Mom Might Get 93 Days In Jail … For Planting A Garden

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You would think that a healthy, organic vegetable garden in one’s yard would be the civic ideal, right? The Obamas dug up part of their yard for an organic garden and Michelle Obama frequently talks about its benefits. But when the Bass family in Oak Park, Michigan tried to do the same thing, city officials cracked down.

Here’s the deal: the Bass family had to repair a sewer line that was damaged from the roots of the tree the city had planted out front years ago. To do that, they had to tear up their lawn. Instead of replacing the grass, they decided to plant a vegetable garden. And as you can see from the picture here, the garden beds are raised and nicely kept and everything seems in order.

But a city inspector told them to move the plants to the back of the yard. All five beds, six yards of compost and about 90 plants. Yeah, right. “Most important of all, on principle — no!!!!” Julie Bass wrote on her blog.

The mother of six has been taken to court and faces jail time for daring to feed her family with a garden on her own property. That she owns.

The thing is that the family would love to be doing much more — raising chickens, for instance. But they know that these activities aren’t allowed by the city government. But vegetable gardening is permitted. The code they’re violating requires that front yards have “suitable, live plant material.” So I guess we’re arguing over what suitable is.

I fully support the right of all people to do whatever they want with their property so long as they’re not infringing upon someone else’s rights. And growing a garden in one’s yard has to be one of the most basic examples of people living freely I can imagine. And what with food prices going through the roof, it seems like the government encroachment is particularly threatening to this family of eight.

But even according to the code, it seems this is a silly crackdown. It’s not like they’re growing a bunch of Iroc Camaros or whatever.

So here’s to Michigan Mom Julie Bass. May she win her court battle and tell her oppressors that they should grow their own front-yard vegetable gardens.