trying to make sense of oak park's war on vegetables
mad props to the tech staff!
July 3, 2011
Our First Tomatoes
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:35:36
Wow, It’s so neat and tidy, I don’t get the ish!!! I wish I was your neighbor. I’d tear up my yard and plant a jungle of vegetables in solidarity! And to stir the pot, I’d water them in the nude! Keep your spirits up! There are always simple minded people who just don’t get it. BTW, the drive by yelling…I would be livid! I admire your ability to remain calm and civil.
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:41:07
Looking good my friends!
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:44:38
Love the whole concept. Good luck with your fight, lets hope common sense prevails.
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:46:14
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:56:14
what kind would you suggest? someone just told us they swear by coconut shells, but i heard that is poisonous for dogs. i think red ceder chips would be pretty, but don’t know the pro/con list for them. we were going to wait until things were settled with the city before adding anything to the garden, but with this heat lately, i’m thinking you are right…
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:56:28
thanks- us too!
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:57:53
thanks, guru! any measure of success is due to your patient coaching! 🙂
Jul 03, 2011 @ 21:58:46
that’s awesome, pam- i wish you were my neighbor, too! maybe one day… 🙂 -julie
Jul 03, 2011 @ 22:03:49
M-u-l-c-h! I use plain old wood chips. My city (Grand Rapids) offers them for free. In your area, maybe SOCCRA (sp?) has some.
Jul 03, 2011 @ 22:08:54
I agree that you should add a bit of mulching. I use wood chips, too. Be careful using anything with added dyes. You don’t want it leaching into your soil. I think what you are doing is great. I think the whole vegetables are for the backyard only is ludicrous. For Pete’s sake we are in a recession, regardless of what the gov’t says and we have a right to grow food on our own property. There was a time when this sort of thing was encouraged. Keep up the good fight. I hope you win! The crazy thing is if we were to roll back the clock by 75 or so years, and you had planted grass you would have been the weirdo then.
Jul 03, 2011 @ 22:30:28
I love your name on here thegardenrenegade, your garden looks great.
Jul 03, 2011 @ 23:03:02
Jul 03, 2011 @ 23:04:47
Your garden looks great Julie. I’ve been following your struggle for a couple days now. It’s hard to believe that this town would spend such scarce resources discouraging something that is so positive in so many ways: you are growing your own food, it is pretty and as Pam says, so tidy!, you are not dousing it with chemicals and ruining the water supply, etc.etc. what are they so uptight about?
when we lived in the Bay Area, CA, we convinced our landlord to let us put raised beds in the front yard and grow veggies, and it became a wonderful neighborhood gathering place. people would stop as they were walking by and comment on this or that; their kids would ask, “is that a tomato?” or “what kind of vegetable is that?”; we’d chat for awhile. One time, we let some kids pick radishes to take home, and a little while later, I heard some rustling out the window, so I went out to look, and one of the little 4-year-olds had sneaked out of her house and come down to pick more radishes! I had to walk her home!
At a time when people are doing all they can to survive and with the local food movement getting so popular, they should be incentivizing this kind of thing rather than punishing you for it. I hope you not only win your case, but in doing so inspire others in your town to follow your lead.
Best of luck,
P.S. If you’re ever up in the Traverse City area and want to come visit our farm, let me know!
Jul 03, 2011 @ 23:05:17
absolutely correct, katherine! and this is a cause that makes me happy to be a “weirdo”! and thanks for the advice about the wood chips- i guess hubby will have to have an errand tomorrow 🙂
Jul 03, 2011 @ 23:55:04
Mulch or stones depends on your soil and how it handles moisture. Use mulch if you soil tends to be dry and you need to hold in moisture. Use stones if your soil tends to be moist and you news better draining of water.
Jul 04, 2011 @ 07:33:40
In case Oak Park City Hall hasn’t noticed, Michigan is in a recession/depression. How out of touch are your local leaders to outlaw growing FOOD????
Good luck to you in this fight. Your garden is beautiful.
Jul 04, 2011 @ 11:31:57
thank you, carol. i agree with your point, and appreciate your compliment! -julie
Jul 04, 2011 @ 11:49:38
ok, michelle- then mulch it will be!
Jul 04, 2011 @ 11:52:40
thanks, ellen- we just might take you up on that offer one day; i hear traverse is totally beautiful!! i’m thinking that if we dumped some chemicals and ruined some water, the city might like us better. after all, “suitable” does mean common, right? hahahaha- i hope this is the worst crime the city ever has to deal with, and then we’d all be in a better place. thanks for being so positive and uplifting! -julie
Jul 04, 2011 @ 19:51:20
I am shocked and appalled! But only because, as others have stated, you haven’t mulched. And, actually, I’m not shocked or appalled. Just feeling dramatic. Keep up the good work!
Jul 05, 2011 @ 09:33:13
It’s such a beautiful garden.
Jul 05, 2011 @ 12:39:59
thank you- we like it too 🙂 -julie
Jul 05, 2011 @ 15:53:07
We just use good old straw for mulch. Works beautiful, composts, and is very cheap.
Jul 05, 2011 @ 17:48:38
we are on the prowl, and so is our guru, ryan- thanks! -julie
Jul 08, 2011 @ 21:23:11
I hope you get to keep enjoying your garden as much as I am enjoying mine. There is nothing like eating fresh vegetables just minutes after being picked. I think the local Govrenment needs to get on with the real issues and stop harassing people for trying to feed themselves healthy, nutritious food. Keep up the fight.
Jul 09, 2011 @ 11:24:37
I feel sorry for you 😦 What a bloody terrible council you have, they should be ashamed of themselves.. I really ‘love’ how the reason you shouldn’t grow it is because it isn’t “common” omg, you’re getting persecuted because you’re a trend setter.. maybe more people in Oak Park that agree with you should take some pots of veggies out the front.. then it is ‘common’!!
Good luck with your fight 🙂
Sara Eick McAllister
Jul 09, 2011 @ 21:22:00
I live in SC and have a veggie garden in my front yard. It’s been there for years upon years. Other neighbors have entire lots devoted to gardens and we all live in the city limits, just south of Charlotte. You’ve got a lot of like-minded people rooting for you!
Jul 10, 2011 @ 10:07:54
It’s so well maintained. I hope Rulkowski loses his job over this.
I’m behind you. Your story is one of my best performing articles.
Jul 11, 2011 @ 16:01:26
ha…go for it, might plant grass around the outside planter boxes :). The way I look at it you conserving water. But then again, unless you by sod, it will take forever to grow (and to make matters worse more water, and they wouldn’t like the straw covering the seeds to help them germinate and gain a good footing in the soil).
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