Another illegal kitchen garden

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85 Responses to “Another illegal kitchen garden”

  1. PhosPhorious says:

    Straight outta Compost!

  2. Michael Franklin says:

    We need to evolve beyond the left vs. right, red vs. blue political divisions we’ve been trained to follow. This is an age when who you vote for means far less than standing up for the constitution that both sides were sworn to defend but now are dismantling bit by bit.

    Tossing aside those divisions, we become a nation of 300+ million and paying attention to what is happening while we would otherwise be bickering amongst ourselves.

    This kind of corporate anti-gardening enforcement is just one example. There are hundreds more that may or may not affect you personally, but still take a bite out of your rights as an American.

    • mat catastrophe says:

       Wow. Really? Don’t you think that’s a lot of drama there? This isn’t Selma, or Attica, or Stonewall we’re talking about here.

      If it’s a code violation, it’s a code violation. Those codes may or may not be reasonable, but they are there. This guy’s best bet, if he wants to actually *change* anything, is to comply with the order and raise local awareness to have the zoning and nuisance regulations altered.

      That might teach the youths a lot more about civic responsibility than this dramatic “fight the power” bull.

      • Michael Franklin says:

        I have to ask… is fighting the power bull, or is it bull because it doesn’t take a political stand?

        Had I taken a left stand or a right stand, we could have hugged or argued our faces purple. This would have won us points for our partisan gladiatorial skills. 

        But to walk the middle in favor of all? Distrust both sides? Stand for We the People and not just our corner of the neighborhood?

        Horrid. This guy must be whacko. 

        Yeah. Whacko.

        • mat catastrophe says:

           This inherently takes a political stand but you only see left and right and not other issues.

          I’ve seen this same sort of fight played out by right- and left-wingers, both wanting to rage against something that is a threat to their rights, when what they are doing is trying to say that society’s collective agreements can be violated as long as an individual can show their “rights” are being violated.

          That’s an inherently political argument in and of itself. Everything is political and you can’t really escape that.

          You yourself framed this as an “anti-corporate” issue. That’s political.

          So, you see, you can’t just argue this from “sides” – there is no political spectrum along a straight line. There’s at least a two-dimensional axis and, possibly, a three-dimensional one.

          But, whatever. If you choose to stay locked in a “left-right-center” world, that’s fine too.

          • Michael Franklin says:

            Are you into framing? That’s what you are doing; defining a person so that you can center an argument on your terms.

            The issue should be clear enough for everyone to see by now. Our two political parties are no longer divided by idealism and our nation no longer shifting according to who is in power. 

            All things considered, that a garden plot in the yard of a family home could become a major news story… more than once even, speaks volumes. That the Patriot Act could survive stints with both parties in a decided majority and in control of the White House, sews it shut.

            Labeling me this or that… is basically stereotyping a complete stranger based on a few paragraphs. If you feel like you are smart enough to identify and classify me and then shove me into a box with millions of other strangers, you really don’t have a lot between you and those who do things like this based on differences other than politics.

            We should be beyond all that by now. We know that skin color and sexual preferences have nothing to do with character. But when it comes to politics? We ain’t there yet.

            I stand with my argument… that little things like this story are but the tip of a larger issue that needs the attention of ALL Americans, not just a properly defined and fully framed group based on politically tinted glasses.

          • mat catastrophe says:

            You can’t actually engage me on my criticism of your arguments on this subject, can you?

          • Michael Franklin says:

            mat: “You can’t actually engage me on my criticism of your 
            arguments on this subject, can you?”

            This reminds me of something that happened a long, long time ago. May I?

            Tricky Dick (Nixon) was in town for the dedication of some marine study center. He was going to give a speech in the center of town before heading out to the island with his royal motorcade. I was just a kid… about 15 or so… I forget the exact date. 

            Anyway, I am like two blocks away from the dais they built for him and then this guy walks up and asks me, are you with us or against us? He had a bunch of protest signs and was handing them out to whoever would take one.

            I was really taken by the question because, I wasn’t there to be for anyone. I was there because I was against Nixon. Even at that young age… with Vietnam and all that, you were up on the latest stuff happening.

            My reply was (not a quote)… I’m not here for you. I’m here because Nixon is over there, pointing to the platform.

            The same reply for you, mat. I am not here to engage you. I am here to engage the subject of the story above and speak to the subject of our pointless divisions. 

            And I believe I did.

          • Genre Slur says:

            I can find no validity in the claim that “everything is political,” ad hoc arguments notwithstanding. I claim that semantic maps or reality models only have a posteri validity in correspondence with sensory reality. I have yet to be shown a single model which corresponds 1:1 with sensory reality.

            I smell astroturf, or is it an imprinted reality model…

          • Guest says:

            “when what they are doing is trying to say that society’s collective
            agreements can be violated as long as an individual can show their
            “rights” are being violated.”

            No, they’re exercising their freedoms to do things, GOOD THINGS AT THAT, and you’re on about your right to be free from other people doing things, and the right to be an uncompromising screw of a human being no matter the cost to others (AND the community itself, of which you are but one part, one miserable Grinchy part)

      • BBNinja says:

        The issue is the “code” he’s apparently violating is a vague “nuisance” code.  And it’s considered a “nuisance” because one person reported it.  There’s no “no gardening” codes being cited.

        And according to the judge anything that anyone complains about counts as a “nuisance”.

        Under that logic, that means I can complain about that uppity bitch’s rose bushes next door and the judge will order her to pull them up.

      • Genre Slur says:

        Why should I care about a code? Seriously. It’s not reality, it is a semantic-map. It has NO validity or authority sui generis. Gahh why do people invest authority to language maps?

      • Guest says:

        or it might teach them they are powerless to dream.

        But yeah, way more likely that the arbitrary enforcement of arbitrary rules will inspire them.

      • AnthonyC says:

        Codes of this sort (based on other recent cases) seem to be often vague. They use words like “suitable,” “appropriate,” and so on- words that don’t actually mean anything. That’s what makes giving one neighbor’s complaint so much power a problem.

        • CLamb says:

          Agreed.  The problem is lazy lawmakers.  Anytime you put vague language into a law you are making dictators of prosecutors and judges.  The folks who made this law should stand up and do their own work to define a nuisance.

    • Cowicide says:

      Great words!  Any relation to Ben?  ;D

  3. blueelm says:

    This seriously looks better than most of my neighbors parched, brown, climate unsuitable grass.

  4. jennybean42 says:

    I bet if his students were white the neighbors wouldn’t have complained.
    Just sayin’

    I am so overwhelmed with frustration when I see stories like this…

    • Mister44 says:

      Pfft. More likely it’s because it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Many HOA wouldn’t allow such a garden

    • benher says:

      What a shame to glibly write off this urgent dilemma as Yet Another Race Issue(tm) – it’s an issue for all humans, free to live off the monoculture grid.

      I’m a cracker-ass motherfucker and 11 years ago I was forced to rip out tomato plants by my bitchy Korean neighbors. Did that make any difference for my experience? Of course not. 

      I’m sorry, I’m as frustrated as you are, but what a totally asinine thing to be “sayin”, and what a ridiculous assumption… and disrespectful to Adam Guerrero and the issue he is faced with.

  5. Haz 0 says:

    Just sent a letter and signed the petition. Damn it feels good to be a gardening gangsta.

  6. BBNinja says:

    Black kid strolling around the streets carrying an eggplant?  Better watch out!  Might get shot by 5-0 for concealing a dangerous weapon!

  7. Guest says:

    If I saw such a garden in the front yard of a home, in a neighborhood where I was thinking about purchasing property, I’d be more likely to buy, not less.  The HOA honey badgers need an attitude adjustment.

  8. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Remember this case was decided by a judge who when asked what made it a nuisance said that one person complained and that was enough for it to be declared as such.
    There was also talk (over on The Consumerist) of there being “roving bands of city workers” issuing many citations while ignoring homes owned by banks that are not being maintained.

    I think the concerned citizens of this town need to start making complaints about the Judges house.

    While it is easy to quickly assume the problem is the color of the students, the neighbor who filed a complaint could easily have been annoyed with the scent of biodisel in the air.  That being said giving 1 person the power to undo what appears to be a teacher going above and beyond for his students needs serious review.

  9. Sherie Klenk says:

    good article.

  10. Mantissa128 says:

    Yes, but just think if EVERYONE had a garden in their front yard.

    Slippery slope, people. The line must be drawn HERE!

    • Guest says:

      I have thought about what it would look like to walk down my street and see all the lawns gone and the former yards reinvented into Gardens of Eatin’…instead of row upon row of ‘Little Boxes’…edible landscaping everywhere and neighbors that actually talk together and know each other’s names and occasionally share a meal of the foods they grew.  Everyone would be slim and healthy and have glowing radiant skin and clear eyes and adult-onset diabetes would be rare. Heaven on Earth.

    • Mykyl Nordwind says:

      It was like that once… they called them “Victory Gardens” …..  (WWII)

    • notsotupelohoney says:

      Everyone SHOULD have a garden in their front, side, and back yards.

  11. ocschwar says:

    I just got to spend a week in a wonderful corner of Germany where (like in most of Europe), farming begins right at the edge of the city, without a buffer zone of sprawl, and gardening is everywhere. 

    Americans spend a lot of money to fly over and walk around communities where the likes of Mr. Guerrero set the tone. 

    To echo the others, this smacks of “gardening while black.”

  12. The Ouroborus says:

    This is not about a garden. One look at the picture and I know what it’s about.

  13. Gee, people in Cuba can grow their own food…

  14. erin jones says:

    This story is utterly enraging. 

    Here’s a realistic picture of what the future America could look like: homes in cities and suburbs with vegetable gardens in front and in back. No obscenely wasteful lawns. Or if the kids and dogs really need a lawn, how about a small one of native grasses that thrive on little water. (Obviously my example is site-specific to the dry areas of California which are currently covered in green, green lawns that require unimaginably large amounts of water to stay green – in an area that’s a desert.)If anything, the government should be encouraging people to grow their own food. Just a few of the benefits that would be gained from urban/suburban gardening are an increase in healthy activity, a reduced cost of living, and the supply of a wide range of fresh vegetables and fruits that are impossible or expensive to source in inner-city areas.

    I grew up in the suburbs and we ate out of our small garden every summer and fall. In winter we ate canned tomatoes, beans, squash, pickles, fruit, etc. Of course, my mother grew up on a farm during the great depression and WWII, so we weren’t pursuing a radical program, we were just living economically and sensibly.

    I think that Detroit is starting to encourage more urban gardening in part to provide citizens with the benefits I listed above. It’s a common-sense answer to a declining economy, rising health care costs, the increase in the cost of living and an increase in health problems deriving from inadequate vegetables and fruits in some American diets.

    This story just reinforces my conviction that the US is in Rome’s position right before Odoacer set up house, but many of its citizens and elected officials have no idea of what the situation is or that it even needs fixing.

  15. Zoraya Tonel says:

    In this time of recession and brink of depression, we all should start learning how to produce food so that we don’t have to buy. We should not underestimate the impact of the looming poverty vs. hunger. A prepared man lasts longer in every catastrophe. Food is a basic need. Hunger does not chose the color of the skin.

  16. peteywheats says:

    Why are we in Afghanistan again? To promote freedom? Land of the Free, my ass.

  17. stretchoutandwait says:

    you guys! you can buy an automatic weapon or a 1 watt sight destroying laser – but carrots in the front yard well that’s a different matter.

  18. bumpngrindcore says:

    I think we can all agree that this is legal bureaucracy going beyond ridiculous. That said, let me completely trivialize the matter and lower the tone in general by stating that the gentleman in the black shirt on the lower right is welcome to come and do some gardening at my place any day…shirt optional! 

  19. When did it become public opinion regarding someone’s property?  I’m sorry to say the people complaining may soon enough be begging for fresh food at this man’s(or another home gardener’s) door.  Our food system in this nation is SCARY1!!!! That’s why I grow my own food. More power to you!

  20. castironskillet says:

    When they outlaw gardens only outlaws will garden.

  21. mat catastrophe says:

    Wow. OK. Let’s try this again.

    If you live in a community, you are already aware that there are certain standards in the community. You don’t walk around town naked, you don’t beat up random kids on the street, and you don’t set fire to the neighbor’s cars.

    What you might not know is that, lurking deep under some of the more obvious provisions of the social contract, are some pretty weird, obscure, deprecated, or even downright asinine codes and regulations regarding any number of things. Some of them deal with how many people not related to you can live in a house, to how many yawn ornaments you can put out or who close to the curb they can be.

    These things, in and of themselves, aren’t important to you. You don’t know they exist. They still impinge upon your freedoms, but you don’t know it. So you don’t get upset and you don’t agitate to change them.

    Then comes something like this: one of those ancient codes is pulled out against you. You are given a court order to make changes, or face the penalty. Well, then! Now it’s a Big Deal! Now you’re oppressed! So what if you’re just gardening, or running a tenement house in your basement, or a strip club in your toolshed! That’s your right, man! We’re Americans, dude! Individual freedoms! Founding Fathers!

    Et cetera.

    So, you fight the power and you fight the system and, surprise, you probably lose. You’ve learned nothing and gained nothing. In fact, you’ve lost whatever it was you were doing before the storm started.

    And you probably won’t get it back because now the entire community thinks you’re a miscreant. Not that they don’t agree with whatever it was you were doing (well, maybe not the tenement or the strip club), but because you just completely flouted whatever aspect of the common social good exists in this country.

    It’s not a matter of good/bad, left/right, corporate farming/urban gardening. It’s about finding the proper balance between our individual rights and a collective good.

    If this guy were keeping rusted out or abandoned cars on his property and claiming he was teaching these kids how to be mechanics, you’d be tempted to lambaste him as a lazy redneck. But, since it fits some commonly accepted idea of “progressive urban activity”, you’re just as quick to defend him without taking the first thought of how it might affect a community.

    It comes off quite a bit like the small-government nonsense being spouted in national politics. No one wants small government except in the arenas in which they are directly affected.

    Do I want this guy’s garden to succeed? Sure I do, it sounds like he’s doing a wonderful thing there. But, more importantly, he should be doing it within the legal framework his community has laid down. And, should that framework be too restrictive or too easy to manipulate for inadequate reasons, then it should be changed.

    Remember kids, there’s a huge difference between anarchism and anarchy – between what’s good for as many people as possible and just for a few.

    Why would you choose to err on the side that hurts more people than it helps?

  22. Andrew Singleton says:

    There is nothing I can say here that hasn’t been said. You lot are wonderful. 

    This man trying to do something to show his students that they can do something worthwhile even at home is wonderful. It should be encouraged. Yes yes it doens’t ‘look as nice’ as a grass lawn, but it’s a damned sight more useful!

  23. Genre Slur says:

    For some reason, this thread is reminding me of the restaurant scene in Brazil…

  24. “Sir, we have a call from you on line one from your credibility. It says it tried to keep up with you but got lost when you compared keeping a garden to running an illegal flophouse or strip club.”

  25. Seriously, the violation of the common good of the community here isn’t the person who is keeping a garden and using it to teach his neighbors’ kids some sustainable living, especially since such a garden isn’t actually against the code. How are you supposed to “comply” with an unwritten rule? Working within the system in this case means fighting the nonsensical enforcement that’s being attempted.

  26. librtee_dot_com says:

    PROPERTY RIGHTS

    Seriously, this is a simple, foundational term that our society has totally forgotten.

    We exalt to the highest levels bogus, make believe property rights such as ‘copyright,’  ‘patents,’ ‘corporate personhood,’ etc.

    But, we deny very real and plain property rights such as dominion over your own home or your own body.

    I propose a new constitutional amendmant (at both the state and federal level): “Congress/the Legislature shall pass no laws.”

    That would solve a lot of problems.

    What we need in our society is rule of NATURAL LAW.

    The vast majority of people, from a very young age, accept a few basic laws. Don’t hit other people, don’t steal, dont cheat, etc. etc.

    We don’t need more laws. We don’t’ even need any delegated laws. Every functional person has a pretty similar idea about what good and bad conduct is. The role of courts/legislatures should not be to make new laws; it should simply be to interpret the laws that are inherent in human society.

    The natural consequence of having an unwelcome garden in your front yard is that your neighbors might be annoyed, come complain to you, and not like you. That is their right, and their freedom.

    But any law, large or small, that tramples natural law and property rights, that contradicts natural morality, should be automatically considered null and void.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      ‘Natural law’ is a completely subjective term and just about as useful as ‘God’s law’. If there is a ‘natural law’ for humans, it’s probably to dominate and kill all competition. That’s why we developed the idea of making law as a contract, so that the strongest and most vicious can’t eat everybody else without facing serious consequences.

      • librtee_dot_com says:

        Consider the following question: “If all laws were erased from the books, and had to be replaced with only FIVE laws, what should those five laws be?”

        I believe that most people, around the world; across cultures, across religions, across political beliefs, christians and atheists, liberals and conservatives, readers of boingboing and townhall, etc. would wrote up fairly similar lists. Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t injure, etc. There might be some differences, but the basic lists would be very similar.

        This indicates that there IS some natural code of social conduct widely recognized by human beings. When people violate them, the vast majority feel some sort of remorse. Many of those who don’t feel this remorse are in the employ of government somehow, soldiers police politicians etc…

        If there is a ‘natural law’ for humans, it’s probably to dominate and kill all competition.

        If this is true, then people would be killing each other willy nilly. It’s within the capabilities of most people to figure out how to kill someone they don’t like without being caught. Serial killers pull it off for years and years. The reason people don’t kill is not because of fear of consequences. It’s because they recognize that killing is wrong.

        How many people have you met, in your life, who you think would kill those opposed to them if they could do it without being caught?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          “If there is a ‘natural law’ for humans, it’s probably to dominate and kill all competition.”

          If this is true, then people would be killing each other willy nilly.

          Yes. That’s what’s happening in Somalia, which you consistently defend as the best country in Africa.

          • librtee_dot_com says:

            And yet, despite suffering from years of civil war, Somalia has a lower homicide rate than the US (in the only year for which numbers are available).

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

            Don’t refer to a country that you have never gone to and don’t have any direct knowledge of. In the world around YOU, with the people YOU have met personally, how many of them are kept from murder only be the fact that laws prohibit it?

            And I have not said it is the best country in Africa. Rather that it is better off by all measures under a quasi-anarchy than it was under a quasi-socialist dictatorship; that the people are better than those in other countries in the region; that the economy is better than it was ten or twenty years ago; and that life is better than westerners assume it is.

            The per capita GDP of Somalia is triple that of neighboring Ethiopia, for instance.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia#Economy

          • Toxa says:

            I wonder how reliable Somalian statistics are.

          • librtee_dot_com says:

            The economic statistics on wikipedia, ironically, come from the CIA.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            And yet, despite suffering from years of civil war, Somalia has a lower homicide rate than the US

            Try factoring in the people who have died from lack of food, water and medicines because the guys with the guns steal all the aid and resell it to buy more guns. Then get back to me.

          • librtee_dot_com says:

            Well, compare it to other African countries, where the guys who steal the food and medicine (and money required to buy them) wear uniforms and carry government credentials; and act in a more organized fashion. What’s the difference? The evidence would seem to indicate that the unorganized bandits are, if anything, less effective at their banditry…

  27. jcoffey42 says:

    You may be missing the real issue. A small group of people are making rules that stop you from making or doing something. Sure it is only one guy, this time. These small groups who would decide how best you should live make a law. First it is your garden and how many pets you can have (one town has a one each, two species law). next it is stopping animal exhibitions at the fair.
    What are you doing right now that the city fathers find wrong!

  28. Lajos Hankó says:

    Try to contact Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution group, they are helping community actions like this. 

  29. dmv501 says:

    You should know that my email to the judge was return, ‘service unavailable’.  

  30. Cicada Mania says:

    If it was up to me all lawns would be replaced with gardens. This suburban green rectangle obsession is madness!

  31. Heather Whamond says:

    I read this article this morning, clicked the link, read some more… and was surprised to find myself clicking the “send an email to the judge” link and doing just that.
    Adam is teaching at-risk youth that there is another path from them and along comes some zoning crap that will squash their dreams.
    Do they have any idea how much courage it took for these kids to say, “Yes, I like to garden.”?  Adam got them invested and they are now (probably) discouraged by this (hopefully momentary) set back.
    Where I live, there are 2 empty houses on my street.  Next to each other.  Every few months, the town has to come in and cut the grass so the neighborhood doesn’t look *too* bad.  All the while, the houses slowly fall into disrepair.  I’d much rather see gardens in those front lawns (or the whole lots, really) instead.

  32. ocschwar says:

    “If you live in a community, you are already aware that there are certain standards in the community. You don’t walk around town naked, you don’t beat up random kids on the street, and you don’t set fire to the neighbor’s cars.”

    And you don’t let a bunch of black kids work in your front yard where they’ve visible from the street. Don’t kid yourself. The reason towns have these vague regulations so they can use them to harass people who violate standards they don’t dare mention on the record. 

  33. stoiic says:

    I guess in a world where straying from a monoculture concoction of grass and pesticides that harm our children, spoil our drinking water and kill biodiversity is totally unacceptable. Why do the majority of people accept laws that promote a secular, disconnected society?

  34. Jonas says:

    Due to the location and the skin color of the gardeners, I’m inclined to believe that this application of a vaguely defined ordinance (prohibiting “nuisance”) was an excuse for racial harassment. This was not harming anyone and just because one person complained does not mean that it is a community problem. If the complainer didn’t have an agenda, the judge probably did. Guerrero was doing a service to the community, not bothering it, and the law stood on the wrong side.

  35. Jonas says:

    “But, more importantly, he should be doing it within the legal framework
    his community has laid down. And, should that framework be too
    restrictive or too easy to manipulate for inadequate reasons, then it
    should be changed.”

    But, the ordinance never defined a nuisance. A judge did, and he did so unreasonably. One complaint does not equate to community disapproval, because it doesn’t reflect the entire spectrum of opinion in the community about the subject of the complaint. For one, I think the gardeners Guerrero was teaching would probably disagree with whoever complained about the garden to cause this mess.

    The legal system protects big agribusiness corporations, but treats an individual urban gardener like a criminal based on the fact that one unhappy (and possibly racist) soul characterized his yard as a “nuisance”. It seems it’s all about the MONEY.

  36. MrBrownThumb says:

    I’m glad you’ve joined the coverage of the story. I only wish you’d been part of the coverage earlier. I submitted this story on Monday and have spammed your Twitter account with the information too. 

  37. donovan acree says:

    It seems like what we really have is an incompetent judge. Nuisance laws are very tricky but for a judge to rule a thing a nuisance without a jury would be an indication of a nuisance per se. This would means that the act of gardening is a nuisance at all times and under any circumstances, regardless of location or surroundings. The harm is presumed as well.
    Of course the problem is that this would require public statute or case law declaring gardening to be a nuisance in all settings and situations. Now, there may be such case law or statute in Memphis but I strongly doubt it.
    I would recommend the teacher involved contact the University of Memphis, specifically the Tiger Initiative for Gardening in Urban Settings (TIGUrS) group based on that campus. If this case holds then the on campus gardening could also be a nuisance. The University of Memphis is a signatory to the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) which created the TIGUrS group.
    In other words – Get some local rich white college students with time to protest on the scene.

  38. Just signed the petition and sent this to the judge:

    I know the corporate conglomerate would much rather have us
    all shop at Wall Mart and eat as many Processed foods as possible so that the
    next huge racket (American Health care) can keep us barely alive for the last
    30 years of our lives with synthesized chemicals (Big Pharma). But not all of
    us our sheep in this country and some would rather exercise a basic function of
    this earth and humanity and  grow our own
    food instead of shipping eggplant from halfway across the country. I don’t care
    one bit about what sort of city laws or cc&r ordinances this violates or
    whatever in my opinion it’s a good litness test to see what laws our stifling
    us, do your job and get whoever you have to involved to make this go away for Adam Guerrero, if anything he should be
    getting recognized for his good work not penalized,  besides gardens are beautiful.  If you don’t do everything in your power to
    stop this madness right now YOU ARE WHATS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY. If you do
    the right thing (you know full well what that is) YOU ARE WHATS GOOD ABOUT THIS
    COUNTRY, thanks!

  39. This would be a perfect cause for the Institute for Justice (the libertarian public interest law firm: http://www.ij.org/) This is definitely a good issue on which to forge a left-right-whatever alliance

  40. HenryPootel says:

    Wow, I am amazed how well the police were able to string that crime tape in a precise horizontal band.  There must be some kind of shop where they do that.

  41. Beth Cravens says:

    This is why I love living in a small town. One man down the road from me had a watermelon patch that covered the ENTIRE front yard and nobody gave a shit. It all depends on your neighborhood I suppose. No HOA in podunk TN.

  42. Baldhead says:

    The idea that 1 complaint could cause this is the sort of thing I’ve seen before, in different situations. It always seems to come down to who complains, and while we don’t have details on that I bet it wasn’t the poor guy at the end of the block who can barely afford to live there.
    Also, with banning all rules that can define violations as they feel, and in fact if I could ban the sort of people who’d bitch about a garden, I would.

    • librtee_dot_com says:

      You know, if 1 complaint is all it takes…we should start flooding the switchboards with all sorts of complaints. I don’t like that bush, it’s ugly. He used a crap color for the mailbox, remove it. How dare he have chairs on his front step? etc.

  43. Lawnmowers and leaf blowers are certainly less of a nuisance than the *snick* *snick* *snicking* of garden sheers,  I hate that sound!

  44. Sarah Wells says:

    I think front yard gardens are great.  I want to have a big herb garden in mine.  That said, I wonder if there is more to this story than violation of the sort of “sumptuary laws” of front yards people rightly object to, or subtle racism.Nuisance usually goes beyond “eyesore.”  Nuisance usually involves others nearby being deprived of the normal enjoyment of their own property.

    Large boisterous crews working at early hours,  or loud, dust raising equipment, use of smelly materials such as manure or compost piles with too many grass clippings that aren’t turned enough, excessive traffic onto the property (lots of cars/trucks arriving and departing, or commercial business being transacted in a way that creates nuisance (which could just as easily apply to someone running an Ebay enterprise out of their home or frequent yard sales) could be very bothersome.   I’d like to know EXACTLY what the neighbors complained of.   If they can’t open their windows because of noise or smells, or find their driveway blocked or lots of activity at early or late hours,  I think the neighbors might be not only truly aggrieved but right to try to get the operation shut down.

  45. Mark my words, everybody that eats will eventually have to grow their own food but that is trying to be stopped in Washington DC.

  46. librtee_dot_com says:

    A final comment on this: in the Great Depression, as bad as it was, many people were able to get buy, even without incomes, by subsistence activities. Hunting, growing their own plots, small scale agriculture business, etc. 

    Now, with many people much more reliant on the grid, and many more laws that restrict and prohibit self-sufficiency activities, if the shit seriously hit the fan again, people would be much, much worse off.

  47. SimonG says:

    WHAT?!?!??!?! WHAT DO WE DO?!?!?!?!? How do we make that gov’t know that it’s stuppid and needs to take a good look at the world and see that there is a FOOD shortage and a need for SUSTAINABILITY and to arrest someone for helping the world is EVIL!!!!

  48. ernunnos says:

    Need to get some hard, pipe-hittin’ kids from the local 4H and FFA over to that neighborhood. Stare down those nosy neighbors in their matching varsity jackets. Seriously, does it get any more wholesome? Kids growing food? I guess the judge is right though. If he doesn’t nip this in the bud, the next thing you know they’ll be learning preserving and canning. And then where would we be?

  49. Thomas Shaddack says:

    When gardens are illegal, only outlaws will have fresh vegetables.

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