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.

Bass disagrees.

“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.

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Aug 01, 2011
Charges Dropped Against Michigan Organic Gardener
by: Anonymous

As of July 22nd, all charges against Julie Bass have been dropped. However, the incident still raises many questions and concerns regarding the use of land and private property. It is disturbing when so many other more serious problems exist in our society that a person could be persecuted simply for planting vegetables.

According to NaturalNews.com, Julie intends to continue growing her organic garden, and has even inspired some of her Oak Park neighbors to follow suit and start their own vegetable gardens. Gardeners of the world unite!

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