Michigan Woman Faces Possible Jail Time for Planting Organic Garden
A woman from Oak Park, Michigan is in trouble with the law – merely for planting an organic garden in her front yard, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Oak Park officials say that Julie Bass is in violation of local codes requiring front yards to have only “suitable” live plant material, and they say that having a vegetable garden doesn’t qualify.
“They say, ‘why should you grow things in the front? Well why shouldn’t I? They’re fine. They’re well maintained”
She planted the garden so she could enjoy the health benefits of growing her own organic food and at the same time, avoid the higher cost of organic produce. Instead of using her backyard, Bass planted several raised beds in her front yard so the neighbors could also enjoy the garden.
“We thought it (would) be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help”
City officials didn’t agree, giving her a warning, then a ticket, and then charging her with a misdemeanor. Although the garden is well maintained, “kid and community friendly” and located on her own property, Bass is still facing a hearing and up to 93 days in jail for violating Oak Park’s City Planning Code.