I have sat on my hands regarding this topic for some time now… but this heartbreaking story, explains a situation that is becoming disturbingly common in America today. Will they be coming for your lemon verbena and catnip next? Where will they draw the line, you can’t grow squash because the squash bugs will become a neighborhood nuisance?
In case you are not aware of Karl Tricamo, from Ferguson, Missouri, USA, he was involved in a Front Yard Garden Controversy in May.
Denise Morrison from Tulsa, Oklahoma was not as lucky. She has had her entire yard ripped out. And she is fighting back.
Woman Sues City of Tulsa For Cutting Down Her Edible Garden
Like the interstate highway system, like fast-food chains, like television, the lawn has served to unify the American landscape; it is what makes the suburbs of Cleveland and Tucson, the streets of Eugene and Tampa, look more alike than not.
A quote from Michael Pollan’s “Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns“, published in the NY Times in 1989 in which he tells of his father’s resistance to mowing his lawn in the 1950’s…
The New York Times Magazine, May 28, 1989
Who’s the “neighbor” that complained? Why? Really? Does this mean that I can now complain about (and have REMOVED) the lawn’s in my neighborhood that spray chemicals so toxic that they come with warnings about “blindness, neuro-toxicity, death to pets, hospitalization for children” all in the name of killing some weed that someone is too lazy to go dig up and compost? Can anyone say O-M-G!
If I get this right, the story of Denise Morrison is saying that she would have been better off on food stamps and sought medical aid for her ailments instead? Is that the conclusion of a “ruling” like this?
I intelligently ask you what happens next after the “Plant Nazis” just waltz in tear up someone’s PERSONAL PROPERTY? What would Michelle Obama do if someone walked onto the white house lawn and tore up the “organic lawn garden”?? Someone would pay… Time to snap out of the coma that we live in folks. This is happening. Ignoring the facts don’t make the facts go away.
Ask yourself one question. Why? Why would anyone want to tell another human being that they cannot grow their own food? You know the answer. DO something about the growing injustice or you will be eating high fructose and sawdust for the rest of your life and your children won’t know what real tomatoes taste like. Pssssht, diabetes and heart disease is already becoming a fact of life. It is going to take more than just thinking about it…
Ask yourself another question. What am I going to DO about it?
The City of Tulsa’s Neighborhood Inspections division, which was responsible for the destruction of Denise’s property, can be reached at (918) 596-7698. Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett can be reached at (918) 596-2100 or by visiting:
Denise Morrison has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city for tyrannizing her and destroying her personal property. Some of her supporters have also set up a Change.org petition demanding that the City of Tulsa replant her garden, compensate her for all losses, and apologize to her for their illegal activities against her (http://www.change.org).
Homeowner Fined for Growing Cucumbers Note: This story has been removed from the paper. Evidently, according to Henry Falk,
Update: At the fall 2011 elections, the mayor and the entire city council were tossed out of office and replaced with a council that reversed these decisions. I know the former mayor and some of the former councilors personally and this was a case of good intentions (stopping grow ops) gone wrong. It was a dumb mistake, not an attack on innocent people. I don’t know why they didn’t reverse it when they had a chance, but the new council has done so.
While that is excellent news, it stands witness in real time to what happens when laws are poorly crafted and the state is allowed to violate individual rights and freedoms.