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Michigan woman faces jail time for planting vegetable garden

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From the “you can’t make this stuff up” category comes news that Oak Park, Michigan has declared war on vegetable gardens. According to WJBK in Detroit, Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six and gardener, is facing 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor for planting a vegetable garden in her front yard.

Julie Bass Garden in Oak Park, Michigan
Julie Bass Garden in Oak Park, Michigan

As seen in the photograph above, the garden consists of five raised beds with a mix of squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables and flowers. The city warned Bass that she was in violation of a city ordinance that says only “suitable” plant material is allowed in the front yard of city residences, and that vegetables didn’t fit the definition of suitable. When she refused to back down, the city charged her with a misdemeanor. She’s set to go to trial on July 26, when she faces up to 93 days in jail.

City planner Kevin Rulkowski told local Fox station WJBK that suitable means “common,” which he defines as lawn, nice shrubs, and flowers. “That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Call me crazy, but one has to wonder if this is the best use of expensive public resources.

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