A report on the Fox news channel in Michigan highlights the progress we’ve made as a nation, or lack of it, in the last 60 years. It has never been made more evident than by the threat from a city in Michigan to a woman growing a vegetable garden in her front yard how much freedom we’ve lost to the never ending cycle of create legislation to appease the complainers. Imagine the effrontery. How dare she attempt to feed her family with home grown vegetables, and then flaunt it by planting the garden in her front yard.
Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan used her front yard to showcase a very orderly vegetable garden. Someone in her neighborhood complained that she shouldn’t have it in the front yard. The city of Oak Park decided to interpret a city ordinance that stated that a front yard should have suitable live plant material in it, to mean it should only have grass, trees, and flowers. No vegetable garden allowed. At least, it’s willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to go to trial over that. I guess they didn’t get the memo from the First Lady. Vegetable gardening is good.
In my opinion, the woman should be given an award for community service. Her garden will help those around her who may not have as much knowledge of gardening, to understand more about where our food comes from; not only that, but growing her own food may be helping her stay off of food stamps. If she can help teach others how to grow food, maybe some of them could avoid food stamps too; or at least, not need as much help from the state.
I’ll go a step further and say that we should require that people who live in government housing grow vegetable gardens in their front yards, and give them the seeds and the assistance from the county agricultural extension agent to succeed at it. In a time where every state and city and community is stretched to it’s max for tax dollars, we should be encouraging people to grow their own food where ever a garden can be grown. Front yard, back yard, side yard, or roof-top garden. It’s all good. It’s all food that helps people live better.
We should support her efforts. Create your own community protest and spread the gardening. If your front yard gets good sunshine plant some vegetables in it. A little border of lettuce, some radishes, a cucumber growing up the trellis. Tomatoes in pots on the doorstep (they used to be grown for their decorative quality). Put onions in the planters with Marigolds, and potatoes up against the porch. Grow a pumpkin around a corn stalk, or a patch of Sunflowers with squash in between.
Do you like flowers better? Look up the plants for an edible flower garden. All lilies are edible except Lilies of the Valley. Hibiscus flowers dried and powdered and added to water make a great drink. Hardy Kiwis are beautiful green and pink vines (you need a male and a female) to grow over an arbor. Plant some real fruit trees, dwarf or full size, instead of the flowering only decorative kind (coordinate with a neighbor if you need both a male and a female tree and you don’t have the room for both).
Use this coming winter to plan and prepare your protest garden.
© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.