Justin W. Hancock

Vegetable Garden Controversy

Tomatoes in vegetable gardenI admit that I’m a follow-the-rules kind of guy. I was raised with the belief that rules largely exist to help us know what kind of decision to make when we’re confused, to keep the world in order, and to prevent us from falling into deep, inescapable chaos.

But when I read the story of Julie Bass in Oak Park, Michigan, I silently gave her a thumbs up.

Julie Bass’ story is an interesting one: According to what I’ve read, she’s being threatened with a misdemeanor crime for violating city code and having a front yard vegetable garden instead of more traditional lawn and shrubbery.

Personally, I don’t find the pictures I’ve seen (view for yourself here) particularly unattractive. It’s not the most traditional approach to front yard landscape design, but it’s certainly not bare earth. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard of growing vegetables out front; in fact, you can see a picture of a front yard that incorporates herbs and vegetables in a front yard right here on BHG.com.

So what do you think? Is this brouhaha over nothing — should she be fined and forced to move her vegetable garden out back and replace it with lawn? Or should she be cheered for doing something a little different? Share your comments!

4 Responses to “ Vegetable Garden Controversy ”

  1. I think the city is going to far. I am all for rules but this one I am not. Julie need an help weeding.
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  2. The people that stand up to the idiocy in our societal rules should be cheered. She seems to know full well what the possible repercussions are, but I suspect the city will end up rewriting the ordinance to be more friendly to front-yard vegetable gardens. Too much negative publicity not to, especially with veggie gardening being pushed all the way to and from DC.

  3. if the White House can have a rooftop garden, why shouldn’t she be allowed to have a front yard garden?

  4. Hey Angie! Great question. It’s really up to the community and what rules they have. That’s why some areas allow you to plant a garden in a parking strip and others don’t, for example. In areas where front yard vegetable gardens aren’t considered acceptable, it’s a great opportunity for gardeners to get together and vote make changes on the local level!