Wrath over Michigan garden finds its way to Oak Park, Ill.

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A snafu in Oak Park, Mich., over a vegetable garden is starting to have some spillover effects 300 miles west, in Oak Park, Ill.

Michigan residents Jason and Jane Bass had their front yard torn up by the City of Oak Park over a busted sewer pipe, according to news reports. In its place, they planted a vegetable garden with cucumbers, tomatoes and peas. But local ordinances forbid residents from planting such gardens in their front yards. As such, the city slapped the couple with a ticket, and depending on what happens at a July 26 court date, they could spend up to 93 days in jail.

After issuing the ticket, the city set off a firestorm, with more than 2,000 emails flying at a city official in one day. Apparently some angry emailers didn’t bother to check the state, and fired off some angry responses to officials here in Oak Park, Ill.

Village Clerk Teresa Powell says that Oak Park has received a couple of “irate” emails over the last few days because of the vegetable garden snafu. Powell scratched her head at first, but then realized they were talking about a different Oak Park.

She says they steered the emailers in the right direction, while pointing out that Illinois Oak Parkers love to eat food from their own gardens.

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kitty from oak park  

Posted: July 20th, 2011 5:45 PM

I'm a home vegetable gardener but I believe the community of Oak Park, MI should decide this issue for itself. It should NOT be decided by fanatics around the world. Isn't that what a community does?

DiaK from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2011 5:20 PM

I believe these charges were finally dropped after a huge outpouring of support from vegetable lovers and gardeners around the country - (tho that MIGHT just be "for now" - I sure hope not!) Thanks, WJ for speading the word!

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