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#1409630 --- 07/18/13 04:57 PM Criminal Gardeners
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
I know this concern was expressed by a few posters here and thought I would share what others have experienced when trying to grow food, not lawns, in their front yards. I think it's a disgrace that growing food is handled this way in any community in this country.


In the past year or so, I have seen a growing assault on a specific type of individual freedom. A seemingly innocuous activity has drawn the ire of local officials, and when I tell you what it is, you will think it is so silly you just might laugh. You might even think that paying attention to this issue is a waste of your limited time, but I can assure you from my own personal experience that it absolutely is not.
In June of 2011 I faced a 93 day jail sentence for growing vegetables in my front yard. Yes, you read that correctly. There was no other issue, no hidden criminal mischief, no homeowner’s association, no history of any other violations. There was nothing in the municipal code that prohibited growing vegetables in the front yard, nor was there anything, unsightly or even vaguely menacing. Yet I was charged with a misdemeanor. If my case was an isolated incident, we could just attribute it to an overzealous city planner and that would be the end of the story.
But in September of 2011, Memphis high school teacher Adam Guerrero was ordered to dismantle a similar garden. In his case, he used the garden to educate students from the local high school about growing food, making soap and biodiesel, harvesting honey, and giving youth productive and constructive ways to use their time. For this he was dragged into court and labelled a troublemaker.

In June of 2012 Karl Tricamo of Ferguson, Missouri was ordered to tear up his front yard garden in spite of the fact that it clearly violated no zoning ordinance. He chose to stand his ground rather than capitulate to bullying by his city, but it was a difficult fight, and one that a law-abiding citizen should not have to wage. Karl won his fight too, but the city is planning to retaliate by drafting new and stricter gardening ordinances that will prevent him from continuing to plant in the future.
In October, 2012 the Helvenston Family in Orlando, Florida were ordered to remove their front yard vegetable garden, with a citation stating that, ”Front yard must be restored to its original configuration and ground covers restored.” In spite of the fact that the original complaint was made by a landlord who lived over 1,000 miles away, and in spite of the fact that neighbors in the area were in support of the garden, the City claimed ground cover violations, then ruled that the vegetable garden was agriculture and only allowed it in the rear yard where there is no sun. The Code still has not changed and the case against them is still pending. Up until this point, they have not been allowed to speak in front of the city council, nor been given a fair hearing, despite the city repeatedly telling media that they are working with the couple to find a fair solution to the situation.
Perhaps most egregious, though, is the case of Denise Morrison in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Denise grew a varied garden of herbs, flowers, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. She was cited by her city for violating their zoning ordinances. And while her case was pending, before she had her hearing, city workers came and razed her garden. That’s right. No due process. no fair trial. All because some local bureaucrats wouldn’t tolerate one woman growing some of her own food.
So what can you do? I am asking you to be courageous enough to sponsor a bill that will protect a citizen’s right to grow food. I am asking you to pass into law something that should already be obvious to thinking people: that a free citizen should have the right (barring legitimate concerns over safety and welfare of others, of course) to grow food on their own property. Protect individuals from the petty tyranny of local governments.
Yes, I know we can vote in local elections, and we do. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you took a stand on this issue? I’ll tell you who would support you, because they supported me during my fight with the city (which I won, by the way): people who care about: food safety, food rights, water conservation, energy conservation, organics, local politics, human rights, keeping government in check, farming, slow food, eating local, land use issues, environmentalists, water quality, peak oil concerns, saving money, healthy diets, teaching and learning, improvising in a tough economy, self-sufficiency, therapeutic benefits of gardening, creating strong neighborhoods and regaining a sense of community, taking pride in what you work for (a most American value), as well as many other things.
It used to be that Americans were encouraged to plant Victory Gardens. Average people felt they were helping their country and their families by putting their hands in their soil and growing some of what they ate. They took pride in the fact that they were able to see the results of their effort on their very own dinner table. Today many people struggle from paycheck to paycheck. Slogans are thrown around about how best to help people who are just trying to “make it”. Here you have case after case of people who are willing to do what it takes to plant what some have termed the new “Survival Gardens”. How wonderful it would be for them to be able to flourish in peace!
At the heyday of our battle, we had several hundred thousand visitors following my story on my blog. I’m sure there were at least that many following our story on other websites and through other media. Undoubtedly you would have more than that supporting you in this issue.



Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/a-free-citize...MJSEvcZaZRgQ.99


Edited by twocats (07/18/13 04:57 PM)
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#1409676 --- 07/19/13 05:53 AM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: twocats]
mimi33 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/30/02
Posts: 526
Loc: seneca falls, ny, usa
Thanks for sharing...when I talk to people about this they either don't believe me or outright laugh...but I don't find any humor in it at all. To me it speaks of total government support of the industrialization of agriculture and factory farming.

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#1409741 --- 07/19/13 02:01 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: mimi33]
Dr117 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 435
Loc: Way out West
The Amish do it all the time.
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#1409748 --- 07/19/13 04:58 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Quote:
In June of 2011 I faced a 93 day jail sentence for growing vegetables in my front yard. Yes, you read that correctly. There was no other issue, no hidden criminal mischief, no homeowner’s association, no history of any other violations. There was nothing in the municipal code that prohibited growing vegetables in the front yard, nor was there anything, unsightly or even vaguely menacing. Yet I was charged with a misdemeanor.


This crap has been thrown at too many, natinwide, for too many years, and is both a real, specific problem, and a symptom of the general, mindless, reflexive oppression that government always grows powerful and arrogant enough to inflict.

Since you provide no "", and no attribution, I naturally assume this (93 jail days threat) happened to you. So, if there was no code violation, then what, exactly, was the misdemeanor committed in violation of? What did the citation say...what was the complaint?

Quote:
you will think it is so silly you just might laugh.


You know that I, at least, do not consider any of government's oppressions a laughing matter; I take them totally in seriousness.

It's not just about cost, taste,variety, and freshness:

Quote:
“Survival Gardens”



is the exactly apt term, and the following vid, posted by MissingArtie, tells exactly why. It is excellent, and everyone should view and listen. It's an art to explain complex things simply, concisely, and clearly, and the vid people, both the lay activists, and the scientist activists, are, thus, artists. Well produced, too, I think.

There's really nothing I can think of more important than stopping GMO, which is foisted upon us by the facist combine of government and industry. This is one more thing that couldn't be done to us if government weren't the ever-willing servant to industry. The people, through the free market, would reject it, without that lying collusion, and the legal cover, provided by government.

Again, I can't praise this vid enough, and I make it a point to read or watch something about the subject nearly every day. It covers every salient point, and well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taLw2LhPoTU

Ther are some useful resources shown/mentioned at about the 1;09 mark, in the "avoiding gmo" part. Don't quit early, stop and come back, if you must; the summation/takeaway is good, too.
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#1409778 --- 07/19/13 11:07 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
"Since you provide no "", and no attribution, I naturally assume this (93 jail days threat) happened to you. So, if there was no code violation, then what, exactly, was the misdemeanor committed in violation of? What did the citation say...what was the complaint?"

There is a link hidden underneath the picture. \:\)
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Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

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#1409803 --- 07/20/13 07:08 AM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Quote:
There is a link hidden underneath the picture. \:\)


Ah...thanks. I'd quit reading it when I saw that it was a repeat of what was printed directly above it. But I still wonder exactly what legal code or zoning code was violated, if the garden violated no code, as was stated. How could it be a misemeanor if there was no violation of anything, IOW?
_________________________
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

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#1409822 --- 07/20/13 10:55 AM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: VM Smith]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11904
Loc: NYS
I put the picture in there because some people may just read that. Hopefully, it would interest them enough to read the whole thing.

As in the LTTE thread in Seneca County, I'm sure some violation could be found. As in another county, some poster claimed that raising chickens for oneself was considered farming for profit and was being challenged in court. If you're on FB, the page, "Grow Food, Not Lawns," often has links to articles like this.
_________________________
Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

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#1409933 --- 07/21/13 04:13 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: twocats]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Quote:
"Grow Food, Not Lawns," often has links to articles like this.


I haven't been on fb since I learned that the CIA put up the money to start it...can't even remember my login. But, I read tons of similar things in libertarian pubs, and in food freedom/healthy food/real food pubs. No surprise...each group is a large subset of the other. It's no accident that liberts know what to eat, because they've educated themselves on what is a proper diet, and are, on average, not as blimp-like as the average American.

There are exceptions, of course, but this top photo, which alternates between 2 images, shows what I'm referring to, regarding people taking control of this aspect of their lives:

http://porcfest.com/
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If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

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#1409941 --- 07/21/13 05:45 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: VM Smith]
Dr117 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 435
Loc: Way out West
VM just maybe when they found the x-tra crop in your corn is why they are watching you more than ever now?
I myself love potcorn. No I met to type pop corn sorry.
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#1410040 --- 07/22/13 04:19 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: Dr117]
BrumWife Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/09
Posts: 164
Loc: Geneva
I have a garden in my front yard since the walnut trees in the back kill off tomatoes and other veggies. Knock on wood no one has complained yet.

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#1410087 --- 07/22/13 09:37 PM Re: Criminal Gardeners [Re: BrumWife]
Dr117 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 435
Loc: Way out West
Let them pay your taxes,then let them complain.
I'm putting one in next year so I do not have to mow any more
just keep the weed down that will be growing in my corn.
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