Plant a Vegetable Garden/Break the Law!

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 26th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Crime

How soon do we forget. During World War One and World War Two, people were encouraged to plant vegetable gardens in their backyards, their front yards, in vacant lots, even in public parks. Back in the day they were praised for their efforts to grow their own foods, unlike today when they are threatened with stiff fines and even jail time for doing the same thing. Back in the day they were called “Good Citizens”, today they are called “Law Breakers”.

The Drummondville Affair

In Drummondville, a community 100 Kilometers northeast of Montreal, Canada, a couple is waging war with the powers that be to keep their garden. The Beauchamp's, Michel and Josee, once grew beautiful flowers in their front yard, no one complained about that. Both of the Beauchamp's suffered from high blood pressure and wanted to eat healthier, so, this past spring, they replaced their beautiful flowerbeds with cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, beets, onions, and Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables. The garden had a positive impact on the Beauchamp's, health. In Josee's words, "Michel lost 75 lb since March, I lost 25 lb."

A Drummondville Ordinance.

The Beauchamp's were unaware of a local ordinance that requires a front yard to be at least 30 percent grass. They may have escaped that violation, but neighbors complained about the garden, and that brought the heat down on them. The Beauchamp's, because of spiteful neighbors, was given an ultimatum, rip out your garden in the next five days or face fines of $100 to $300 per day. But it goes beyond this one case, because of those bitchy neighbors, Drummondville is planning to outlaw all front yard vegetable garden in the fall.

Julie Bass, of Oak Park, Michigan faced 93 days jail time.

The Beauchamp's were not the first gardeners to run afoul of the law for wanting to eat healthier. In 2011 Julie Bass ran afoul of the law when she placed raided vegetable gardens in her front yard and faced 93 days jail time for her ignorance of local codes. What code did she violate? When questioned, local code enforcement cited local codes that require front yards to have only “suitable” live plant material. City planners say that vegetables, for some reason, don’t qualify for the standard, even though they are certainly alive, and certainly are planted. Bass was given a warning, then a ticket, and then she was charged with a misdemeanor for violating the City of Oak Park’s planning code. A pretrial hearing was scheduled to be held on July 26, 2011 with Bass facing up to 93 days in jail. The city prosecutor dropped the charges on July 15th and then charged her with having an unlicensed dog. She had licensed her dog late and had paid the late fee at the time. It appears, at least to me, that the city of Oak Park was really out to get Julie on something.

What is wrong with this picture?

The Beauchamps own their property. Julie Bass owns her property. They pay their taxes on that property. What right does the city, town, or village have to tell them what they can grow in their front yard or any place else on their property? They should have no authority to dictate what anyone can or cannot grow on their property.

Related Article:

A Garden in Your Front Yard? Not here.

Tags

Beauchamp, Code Violateion, Drummondville, Front Yard, Jail, Jerry Walch, Julie Bass, Law, Misdemeanor, Oak Park, Vegetable Gardens

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
26th Jul 2012 (#)

Great article Jerry. I guess the bureaucrats have nothing better to do. Thanks for the link.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you for reading and commenting, my friend. The link back to your article was only right since you were the one that first broached this subject on Wikinut. A writer that deserves the title will always give credit where credit is due.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
26th Jul 2012 (#)

To me this is crazy, it seems that there is something else behind this, its a little creepy and goes against common sense.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you for moderating Mark, and for the perceptive comments. If you think that this is a little creepy and goes counter to common sense, wait until you read my next article on "clothes lines."

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author avatar stevetheblogger
26th Jul 2012 (#)

Jerry Yet again a wonderful article. I live in Quebec Originally from the UK) and I can tell you there is no place on earth where the red tape is thicker. When I arrived here with my French Canadian Wife I had the right to live in Canada. But low and behold according to the Bureaucratic Quangos (I love that word) set up here in Quebec I did not have the right to live in Quebec. It took threats of going to press and sending letters to the Canadian PM that we got a letter of apologize stating yes in-fact Quebec is part of Canada and everyone in Quebec holds a Canadian passport not a Quebec passport. Great article look forward to your next
Best Wishes
Steve

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Jul 2012 (#)

Thank you, Steve. "Quango" does have a nice ring to it :-))

I'll be uploading my "Clothes Line" article in a couple of minutes.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Jul 2012 (#)

so glad you wrote this Jerry...I did read Steve's and found it hard to believe things like this can happen.
I think I remember reading that someone said in the 17th century...the same thing...how can this happen in these modern times!!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Jul 2012 (#)

You know what they say, Cn, that the truth is stranger than fiction. You found this hard to believe, read my article on "Clothes Lines." I'm uploading it now and if our moderators treat this article the way they treat most of my articles, it will go live shortly.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
29th Jul 2012 (#)

It is insane that cities allow manicured lawns that are nothing but grass, but disallow more practical solutions.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
30th Jul 2012 (#)

Yes, it is insane, Mark. It's a sign of the times that we are living in when neighborhood associations care more about appearance than they care about their members being able to eat healthy.

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author avatar Joe
16th Aug 2012 (#)

Irony: In Colorado, there are cities that banned grass unless it's native.

Putting down new grass should be illegal in cities with water shortages... A garden of healthy plants takes way less water and looks a lot better in the long run. I've seen towns where they have horrible, dead grass and water restrictions that effectively outlaw green grass. It's sad to have your grass just die. :( Gardens need no where near that amount of water, especially if you use pots with reservoirs on the bottom.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Sep 2012 (#)

I know, Joe. I live in Colorado Springs.

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author avatar Judy Ellen
5th Sep 2012 (#)

I love this article and you are so right!! The government has gone too far!! Also, I am looking into growing different kinds of vegetables inside the house!! When I have luck with this I will write on it with pictures!! Great Article!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you Judy. FYI I left a detailed comment to your comment on Mark's page about Internet death threats.

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author avatar weatherguyal
6th Sep 2012 (#)

How dare they try to grow something without pestisides and other nasty chemicals on it.
If the neighbors would be nice, instead of complaining, they most likely would have gotten free veggies.
I know I like to share the fruits and veggies I grow.
Nice article, Jerry

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you weatherguyal.

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author avatar Souvik
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Excellent article Jerry.
Souvik Chatterji

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author avatar Jerry Walch
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Thanks Souvik.

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author avatar Retired
15th Mar 2013 (#)

nice one. I just wrote an article (on Yahoo, soon to be published) about Ron Finley, who has a legacy in South LA planting 'Gardens as Graffiti" on abandoned empty plots and road side strips. :)

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author avatar Mike Robbers
13th Jun 2013 (#)

Great article. I wasn't familiar with the cases you mention so many thanks for the report.

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author avatar usha kiran
29th Sep 2013 (#)

Again an excellent article ! Things are a lot different here in my country - rather more chaotic, however I do agree that one should have the choice to grow what they want in their garden..

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