Fruit or Vegetable, a Tomato is Uncommon and Possibly Illegal

by Nola

Laughing Buddha Nursery posted a link to this article today on Facebook. And it got my blood good and boiling.

Apparently a couple in Oak Park, MI had their front lawn torn up to replace a sewer line.  With all that dirt, the couple decided that instead of grass, they’d plant a vegetable garden. And that got the city all bothered.

City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are what Basses see as suitable.

However, Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common. You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.”

So let me get this straight.  This past week, Americans far and wide have been trying to fast-track the passing of a vague “Caylee’s Law” in knee-jerk reaction to the very unpopular Casey Anthony verdict while at the same time asking the court to release the names of the Anthony jurors because “Americans have an interest in better understanding the verdict.” And in the same week, an American city has deemed the tomato plant too uncommon to be grown in one’s own front lawn.

Seriously? What we Americans are choosing to bring law and government into our lives about is shocking. And scary.

For a thoughtful analysis of why Caylee’s Law, though well-intended, is the wrong, and dangerous, thing to do, read here. How we can ever hope to have folks even show up for jury duty, let alone SERVE, if they know that a verdict they arrive at legally, if not in line with the Court of Public Opinion, can subject their names being released by our courts, our government, to the public so they can be hounded, is beyond me.

And now even what plants you grow in your front lawn is subject to the government’s approval?

It’s time we stopped the madness and gave serious, conscientious thought as to what we voluntarily hand over to the government and what we decide it has no business sticking its ugly nose. Because giving things away, especially civil liberties, is a hell of a lot easier than recovering them.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hug a tree. Or a tomato plant.

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