The front yard
08/08/2012 in political
Neighborhood czars are attempting to force free spirits to plant turf, and you may end up in court for growing wildflowers or vegetables.
In a recent case in Ferguson MO, one of those neighborhood nazies claimed that growing turf in the front yard was plain common sense.
Apparently the fact that everyone plants turf in the front yard means that it’s become common sense to plant turf.
The elder generation had something to say about that…
It went… If all your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you also jump off the cliff?
Seems to be a city of lemmings up in Ferguson Missouri.
Karl won the right to have a vegetable garden this year, but it looks like this battle has only just begun.
A war has been declared on vegetables, There was that sickening debacle in Tulsa Oklahoma, where the code enforcers took it upon themselves to raze Denise Morrison’s yard, trees, herbs, flowers, everything… and they didn’t even wait long enough to do this through the legal system!
Adam Guerrero and a few of his students broke the law by gardening and making bio-diesel, operating bee colonies, making soap, and building a small greenhouse.
I don’t know man, seems like something to admire, when a math teacher has the initiative to help his students develop outside interests and skills.
This is the kind of thing that they could put on their resume, or in their college entrance essay.
Used to be kids would learn these skills on the farm, but in an urbanized world, I think that we should applaud their resourcefulness.
This insanity isn’t limited to the US, there was a couple in Drummondville, Quebec ordered to take out part of their garden in favor of turf. While Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp got a reprieve, the city council is apparently working on an ordinance banning vegetables from being grown!
This is America! We can go down to the gun store and purchase military grade weaponry, but we can’t remove the turf out of our yard!
Oak Park Michigan
Last year, Julie Bass was threatened with 93 days in jail for growing vegetables in Oak Park Michigan.
Lana Sutton has been going round and round with planning and zoning up in Chattanooga TN for yanking out kudzu and planting native wildflowers!
In 2006 I was cited to Chattanooga City Court the first time for:..
A) Trying to remove the kudzu on about half my yard. The kudzu is considered by the city to be the legal half of my yard. ..
B) Attempting to replace the kudzu and other invasives with a tall-grass, wildflower meadow, food gardens and a native-habitat reforesting project that has been challenged in court no less than three times in three years…
The case against turf
Growing turf isn’t even a desirable thing to do! There’s a drought going on, and grass requires a lot of water!
Then there’s all that noisy equipment. Have you ever tried to visit a friend out in the garden on the day when the turf crew came through the neighborhood? Oughta pass some ordinances about that….
Those mowers, strimmers, edgers, and blowers put out a ton of air pollution, use up our gasoline reserves, and the spilled fuel goes directly into the local waterways…
Turf has other run-off problems, those chemical fertilizers and pesticides end up in the local streams and rivers….
There’s also the the problem of how little capacity there is for soil penetration by rain fall, due to the hard-pan that underlies the majority of lawns.
Rain water runs off into the storm drains, and is a flooding hazard similar to a hard-surfaced parking lot.
I’m always devastated by the loss of native plants and butterfly habitat every time that I see another patch of wildflowers mowed.
Advocating turf removal
It isn’t unknown for that turf to be replaced by something a lot more eco-friendly and useful.
A quick search on lawn removal turns up dozens of articles.
Like this 2008 post from the LA Times which out-lines 4 methods for successful turf removal.
Here’s a post from last week which discusses the drought, and techniques for turf removal, and includes suggestions for alternative uses for that space.
What reasons could there be for these people being harassed?
I posted a discussion of this article at the I-Dig forums to get a deeper level of discussion.
Some ideas for why people might be getting harassed, included concerns about property values, street appeal.
A look at the photographs posted in the articles linked above, quickly dispels that concern.
These yards added character to the neighborhoods, none of these yards were of the expected problematic type… IE: where a home-owner puts in a few vegetables and then loses interest.
These are all well maintained, high-effort, attractive, productive uses for other-wise wasted space!
My own suspicion for why someone would call the law on their neighbor for growing vegetables… is a jealousy issue, on the order of: those people are always out in their yard, call the police, make them go back inside…. They make me feel lazy…
One person posting (Nastarana) thought that the reason that these cases weren’t simply dismissed as wasting city resources, persecuting people who are minding their own business, exercising their freedoms, pursuing happiness by growing a garden on their own property… might be understood by “following the money”.
How many people on these city councils had involvement in the turf maintenance industry?
I hate to say it, but this seems likely.
With new voter-fraud laws recently in the news, taken to court, and the defendants stipulate that there’s no actual cases of voter fraud…
Suggests that people are passing laws to promote their own agenda, without regard for the appropriateness of those laws…. The lawmakers are merely human, using their positions to advance their own self-interests.
A time for action
Julie Bass up in Oak Park Michigan believes that it’s time to contact our local representatives, and bring this turf problem into the political arena.
In her pursuit of the liberty to decide for herself what plants to grow in her own yard, Julie has composed a description of the issue, and requests that everyone who cares about our rights as gardeners use her template as a jumping off place.
She imagines that it could be attached to petitions, and printed up in drives to liberate neighborhoods from onerous garden ordinances.
How about you?
DO you believe in freedom?
Do you want your neighbor to dictate that you grow something that actively harms the ecology of the planet?
What are your ideas about regaining the right to garden according to our own aesthetic?
Do you have other stories to add?
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