City of Oakpark vs Julie Bass: Vegetables in one’s front yard are BAD for the community

Apparently, the city of Oakpark, Michigan has decided that growing vegetables in one’s own front yard contributes to the blight of the city. Really?

Oakparks’s city planner, Kevin Rulkowski, has cited Julie for the garden and plans on bringing them to court. She actually faces a 3 month jail term.

Here’s her blog: Oakpark Hates Veggies..

and some other links with info:
Does Michelle Obama know about this?  Make sure you check out the comments
Oakpark mother faces 93 days in jail for planting a vegetable garden

I’m hoping the Daily Show picks up on this one.

Here is the offending front lawn. That’s some kind of blight. NOT. (Photo from The Agitator)

I’m pretty sure a war on tomatoes is a sign of the impending apocalypse. Sheesh.

Posted by Kristy of Simply Shiny

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  1. Ohh wow thats kind of bad taste in my book lol. Not really a thing that should be in the front yard. But jail time wow thats a bit too stiff!

  2. I read this story Saturday (being a native Michigander myself) and was just infuriated. Particularly in THIS economy…just absurd. Besides, don’t people remember, or have they never seen photos of, America during the war years and the Depression? There were no lawns! People had veggies, fruits, and animals covering as much land as they could simply to survive!

    IMHO lawns are overrated anyhow. I’d rather have a Williamsburg or Mount Vernon-style collection of herbs, veggies, flowers, and fruit trees/plants. We’re partway there, having interspersed blueberry bushes, cute tiny hot pepper plants, herbs, a couple of apple trees and strawberries in amongst our ornamentals. No one complains and in fact they think it’s a great idea.

    Good luck Julie, and Oak Park? Get over yourself. Heaven knows that city has more problems than people with a few (attractive) raised beds in their front yard. Maybe Julie can add some zinnia and nasturtium to soften the look (and attract pollinators)?

  3. oak park: what a bunch of idiots!To cite someone for planting veggies……youe budget must be hurting!

  4. While I understand some people don’t like the look of “front gardens”, to me it makes perfect sense. My front yard is my garden too… I don’t suffer for it either. In fact, I benefit. My neighbors come by and we talk about gardening, and I trade out with them. My son and his friends pick strawberries while they are playing, like I used to when I was little. Our BACK-yard is shady and where we bbq and sit out of view of others. We Americans need to realize vegetable plants are pretty too.

  5. I am totally outraged by the actions of the city of Oakpark. Of course they have disconnected their message machine; however I did email the mayor and each city council member. Julie Bass has created a nice looking raised bed garden that is not at all offensive. If the city can potentially send her to jail for growing a garden; what else can they send you to jail for? It sounds like it’s time for a drastic change in city government and policy. Hop to it citizens of Oakpark. Get rid of the idiots in city government before they trample on more of your rights. Force a change in the ordinance. Remember, these people are supposed to be working for YOU!

  6. I remember the actor Eddie Albert grew corn in his front yard of BEVERLY HILLS.
    And during WWII Victory gardens were everywhere. A yard covered in edibles is much more interesting than a brown lawn.
    Give someone a little authority and they run rampent!

    Mrs Obama should show up and help Julie Bass with her garden, wonder what would happen then?

  7. not sure about the laws in that town. I think they are a bit out of sorts. However why don’t they be honest and tell her that one of the neighbors nextdoor called and complained. I mean come on don’t she have a back yard?

  8. ooooops hit the wrong button on last post.
    As far as what they did in WW2 This is not a war time over here. If you had a neighbor that put up a tarpaper shed in the front yard ,you too would be calling city hall. There has to be rules and laws of what your property looks like in the “front yard”.

  9. She should have a tea party in her front yard because that’s some government in bad need of shrinking. No body deserves a criminal record for growing vegetables. It is war time it’s called class warfare and it brought us Depression 2.0. Let’s Johnny Appleseed and plant tomatoes and zucchini everywhere.

  10. wow…..this continues to be a hot topic. While I’m not shocked (guess I’m old and jaded so not much shocks me anymore regarding governmental behavior) I’m still considerably annoyed for the citizens of Oak Park that their elected officials waste time with this. Really Oak Park? A mother of 6 that grows vegetables? Honestly.

  11. Oh my! This is seriously one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. Hmm… What if all of Oak Park suddenly became littered with (I mean beautified by)productive front yard gardens standing in solidarity with this lady. Ok, they might all get fined… but if it comes down to grow veggies to eat or tick off the gov… I’m going to grow veggies and eat. It’s time we take back our freedoms one at a time, before they are all gone!

    Sorry Bob, (and I mean this in all love and with respect) but I can’t find much sense in trying to rule over people’s personal tastes for what they what to plant in their yard. As long as the plants are not noxious weeds, not illegal for drug purposes, and are kept nice, (and even if they aren’t really) why does gov. need to concern itself with this? If gov’s stopped micromanaging things that aren’t really important like this issue, there would be more money to go around to take care of things that do matter (read: fire, police, schools, strong military and a balanced budget that we really have the money to back up, not just on credit).

    Who knows, I may just put an art piece in my garden that could offend someone, or fly a rather large American flag… Is that out too?

  12. OMG!
    What somnambulistic “civilization” we have become??!!

    Have we become so materialistic that we forget that each of us is born NAKED, alone, and POSSESSION-LESS onto this Earth, specifically to be nurtured BY EARTH, BY her VEGETATION?…

    …FORGET that WITHOUT HER – EARTH and HER provisions – we would not have a bowl to pee in, or a hoe or tractor to cultivate the soil – much LESS a house or a landscaper??!!!

    Forget where your clothes come from, your newspaper, your cement, your purses, your shoes, the water running through your luxurious bathtubs and showers, your Armani’s, Gucci’s, your Apples and Pods….that create your Designers, your Automakers….ALL your precious labels….

    …FORGET that it is EARTH AND HER provisions – VEGETATION – that keep every one of us – every cell in each of our bodies ALIVE – so that we can BECOME the healthy Mother, the Father, the Builder, the Landscaper, the Land Surveyor, the Governor, the Judge, the Civil Servant, the Engineer, the Scientist, The President?!…

    …FORGET that it is our innate and natural-birth NEED to acquire VEGETATION – the FOOD we need to exist – to even aspire to become those professions – the very professions that we become FOR THE very PURPOSE to being able to EAT with the paycheck they provide – because we have invented and created it that way? – our SYSTEM?

    That is…IF they are lucky enough to be healthy and free from disease caused by all the artificial crap man INVENTS to REPLACE EARTH’s vegetation? – the crap that exists on grocery shelves imitating tree limbs, that come from laboratory experiments by those who are born with such greed-gluttony that their need for self-worth THROUGH POSSESSIONS AND RICHES is GREATER THAN their bodily need for natural FOOD?
    (I can’t highlight, so I’ll capitalize)

    Such that our foods on our grocery shelves RESEMBLE NOT AT ALL the foods we are supposed to be eating for our cells to reproduce healthily?

    Such that our children think that NATURAL FOOD comes from a plastic packaged container (formally a tree and oil from which the greed-gluttoners sucked it from) rather than from natural agriculture, from a farm, from our soil – the one we build our houses and pools and landscapes upon, and pave and park our Mercedes upon (sucked again from our Earth layers)?

    Take the challenge and count all those artificial, processed, and refined ingredients AND the GENETICALLY MODIFIED ones that are being at this very moment found to create diseases and sterility in plants and ANIMALS (see scientist letter to Vilsack), ingredients in all your packaged foods – count how many toxins and disruptors you are ingesting every day, every WEEK, and EVERY MONTH.. accumulatively and INGESTING that genetically altered DNA from a bacteria in all those “resistant” crops we are serving at dinner time– they are feet away from you in your cupboards and pantries and freezers – and use your own INTELLIGENCE to discern why the heck so many diseases are running rampant in our society – that never was. (See scientist Dr. Don M. Huber, Professor Emertus at Perdue University, to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.)

    See if THIS will not cause your INTELLIGENCE to WONDER…. WHAT THE HECK OUR SYSTEM IS DOING TO US – never mind a small patch of loving, concerned, natural and pure HARMLESS gardening!!!!!!


    Use your energy – not on a petty 10 X 20 garden – but to DEFEND OUR FOOD from our current CORPORATE and PHARMACEUTICAL invested AGRICULTURE that poisons the THOUSANDS OF MILES OF OUR LAND and SOIL and the MILLIONS of our biological bodies!! YES… google THAT, count the toxins and biological disruptors, and LEARN about your REAL WORLD. As you can see…people in GOVERNMENT are NOT willing to DEFEND THAT. BUT…

    We The People – RAISE YOUR VOICES!!

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