Let’s Say You Plant A Garden

Your Victory Garden Counts More Than Ever! 194...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 -2011

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Actually let say you try to plant something akin to the WWII Victory Garden every patriotic citizen planted to help feed the country and hasten the end of the war.  But, you don’t do this in a city, town or rural area where the officials have a modicum of common sense and understanding … you plant your garden in your front yard in Oak Park, Michigan. Fox News in Detroit by way of WJBK TV provides narrative and a short video:

 “The price of organic food is kind of through the roof,” said Julie Bass.

So, why not grow your own? However, Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.

“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.

Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor.

It appears, or maybe I’m reading more into the tiff than I should, that the city planner who enforces this sort of thing in Oak Park, can’t read, or if he can he can’t interpret what he reads:

“That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what’s “suitable?”

The Oak Park official was there to provide an understanding which is anything but clear or definitive;

So, we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable.

“If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” he said.

I’m going to stop and say a few words about the city planner’s dictionary; I looked in several online dictionaries and a couple of hard-copy ones. None of the dictionaries came close to agreeing with Mr.Rulkowski; I can only assume that he is going to get his ears beat down when the judge hearing the case grabs his attention in court.  The prosecutor for the city is little better and his idea seems to favor taking this silly action to heights way above a lower court.

My money is on the garden and I hope Mr. Rulkowski is denied any fresh, garden grown, plumb tomatos.  Here is a link to the story where you’ll also find a video reporting on this foolishness.  Look for related articles below.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Say You Plant A Garden

  1. Well, I guess it should come as no surprise that I’m with you in supporting Ms. Bass on this one. It sounds to me like Oak Park needs a new city planner – perhaps one with a little more flexibility and a little less apparent elitism. The words “arbitrary and capricious” come unfortunately to mind. From my standpoint, at least, a vegetable garden is far more attractive than a manicured lawn, and far more valuable, as well. I’m sending the link to Mother Earth News; maybe they’ll pick it up.

  2. The planner, having no factual basis tries to change definitions in the dictionary and life.

    The wind turbine is up in case you are interested. Not operational yet, but should be this week I believe.

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