First off Michelle Obama put an 1,500 sq.ft. vegetable garden on the south lawn of the White House. That is the front yard for those who are wondering. I don't think there is an ordinance in D.C. that precludes the First Lady from being able to plant a garden in the front yard. The First Lady planted the garden to promote a more healthy lifestyle for Americans and to fight obesity by promoting more healthy dietary choices for common Americans. The First Lady wants America to "Eat Healthy"
Enter common American:
After repairs to a broken sewer pipe resulted in a torn up front yard, Julie Bass and her family looked at the options they had before them to fix up the front yard of their home in Oak Park Michigan.
They looked at having the front yard re-sodded and discovered that the endeavor would be "shockingly expensive".
They started looking for ways to take care of the issue that would be more cost effective.
They went to the library and spent time researching other options and found that they could use the piles of dirt left by the workers after the repairs to the sewer pipes by building five large decorative style raised bed planters.
They could utilize the planters to plant tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, squash, corn, carrots, peas, cucumbers as well as other vegetables and some flowers for decoration.
According to an ABC story Julie was warned that she was in violation of a city ordinance that restricts vegetable garden planting from the front yards of city residents. The warning according to the story required her to remove the garden.
After the initial warning, Oak Park code enforcement officer Kevin Jones issued Bass a citation on June 8 for growing a vegetable garden on the front yard of her property.
The ordinance reads: "All unpaved portions of the [screening and landscaping] site shall be planted with grass ground cover, shrubbery, or other suitable live plant material."
The city ordinance states that "suitable" plant material is allowed on the lawn area of residences.
According to the ABC story local media asked city planner Kevin Rulkowski what that meant, he said suitable means "common:" lawn, nice shrubs, and flowers. However, the city ordinance does not specifically state that those are the only allowed plant materials. Besides the fact that most vegetables sprout flowers prior to producing vegetables or fruits.
Read the full ABC News story here.
According to the ABC story, the First Lady's office, which is encouraging growing fresh vegetables to help fight childhood obesity, declined to comment on the Oak Park vegetable case.
Julie Bass has requested a trial by jury.
Her pre-trial is set to begin on July 26th.
If she is found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail for growing vegetables.
What can you do to Help?
1. Email & call the officials of Oak Park Michigan. Click here for the contact information for the Mayor, City Manager, and other City Officials.
2. "Like" the 1461 Days Facebook Page below and "Like" the Oak Grove Hates Veggies Facebook Page. Join Julie's Blog Oak Park Hates Veggies.
3. Spread the word via Facebook and Twitter. Share this story with your friends, family and followers. By spreading the word and raising the awareness of the issue we hope to keep a mother of 6 from doing jail time by attempting to properly feed her family with healthy vegetables.
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