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Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Posted by czech none (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 18, 12 at 19:44

I've already posted about this in the Oklahoma garden forum, but I also felt the need to post about this here.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma woman had her edible garden cut down by city officials.

I find this outrageous and I can't even imagine what I would have done if I had been in that woman's place, watching as my livelihood and source of food was being razed down.

Being able to grow your own food is both gratifying and liberating. More and more people are looking to grow edibles in their gardens for a variety of reasons: economic concerns, health worries, a desire for self-sufficiency, culinary interests, or concerns over genetically modified food.

I grow my own food because I like having fresh produce available to me when I cook, and I derive great pleasure in knowing that I can sustain myself somewhat. I am not a homesteader, but come summertime, I rarely have to go to the grocery store save for items like milk and eggs.

I'd like to get a conversation started about some of the reasons why you began growing their own food and what you would do if you were in this woman's shoes?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

The yard did look a little overgrown in the video I thought. I wonder if they gave her opportunities to make it look better, anybody could show one or two clean beds but have the entire yard look like crap. To me its hard to make judgement only hearing the one side of the story.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

To me, from the photos she showed to the news reporter, her garden looked like it was filled in and well-established. The beds looked neat and weed free for the most part.

And according to the news report, she was told by a judge to come back in a few months. Within a few days, her garden was cut down by city officials, as well as some fruit trees that were bearing fruit. So regardless of what her yard may have looked like, city officials had no jurisdiction to proceed with razing her garden.

Growing edibles takes a lot of time, care, and patience to make sure that your plants are well-maintained and disease-free so that you can enjoy a good harvest. It goes back to that phrase, "You reap what you sow." I think many of us on this forum have been able to reap what we've sown to some extent or another. Now imagine some stranger coming to your property and telling you that your lavender, by growing over 12" tall, is breaking city code and needs to be removed. I have to wonder, in a good-sized city like Tulsa, this is what they choose to concern themselves with?


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

I happened upon another article that tries to probe into why this woman's edible garden was ripped out by the city. Interesting points brought up about her lack of a lawn perhaps being found offensive by a neighbor.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

I agree, it is an outrage. Our society needs to get over its lawn-worshiping. It is not healthy or realistic to grow large expanses of manicured toxicity. Why are we encouraged to pour hazardous chemicals on our yard for the sake of uniformity? Grrr.

This sounds like harrassment. I hope she wins. It would be ideal if she received enough to move out of that narrow-minded city.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Wow, disgusting. And the judge dismissed the citation for the yard. I hope she wins in court and the city has to replant all here edibles plus damages.

Problem is people like Oceandweller who don't respect property rights. If we respected the rights of homeowners we would realize that no matter what color their house was or what plants they are growing or how offensive they were to our tastes it doesn't matter because IT'S NOT OUR PROPERTY.

If you want to control other peoples property live in a community with a homeowners association. They you can sit in meetings with your neighbors and complain about how Bob hangs his clothes to dry off his balcony every Thursday and how Martha's grass isn't green enough in the summer. Then you can power trip and send them letters to stop doing that stuff they are ruining your community!!


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Me like,

I do respect property rights, but I also know that if you don't take care of your property, ie letting grass get waist high, and everybody in your area does it, it decreases property value throughout the area.

You do realize you only have her side of the story, there wasn't a decline to comment by the city. What if they had sent her 15 notices, would you feel differently? I know I would and agree with her only based upon what she said. Some of the before and after photos were pretty sad, the beds looked good from what I could see. At the 1 min mark to me the bed looks overgrown, don't know if thats a before or after, and if the entire property looked like that or worse I could see why somebody would complain, that said, you think they would have given her time to comply, and that is what I don't agree with.

I have edibles in my front yard, even 8 foot sunflowers by the mailbox, but they look pretty good. I tend to agree with the woman, but wouldn't totally throw in the towel because of a couple of pictures.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Ocean,

What gives you the right to restrict someone from growing their own food in their yard?

Why does your belief in some kind of entitlement to higher property values supersede their utility/use of their yard for growing food?


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

What gives me the right? You are acting like I did this or agree with it, get real man. All I am saying is that there are usually two sides to a story and we only have one side.

She was growing food in her front yard, in most places you cant have vegetables gardens in your front yard and that is a huge issue in America. Personally, I think you should be able to grow your OWN food in your front yard, so long as its in touch with the landscape design of the area and not decreasing the area in property value.

Why do you slap a label on me so easily, I don't have entitlement issues, obviously you want to press this. Like I am against this lady and for the city, or that I am some greedy man that is only interested $. I just think more people need not believe everything they read right off the bat or see on the TV. If this lady has a case it should go to court and she should receive more than adequate compensation for her losses and legal fees.

What gives you the right to restrict someone from growing their own food in their yard?
Nothing, its not my city nor do I agree with it.

Why does your belief in some kind of entitlement to higher property values supersede their utility/use of their yard for growing food?
She still has a backyard, side beds, and could have used the front yard, you can still grow edibles and have them look really good in a front yard without decreasing property value, I don't think she did anything to decrese property value "but also don't feel like I could say for sure", but I didn't see much of a before and after picture of the front bed and am assuming thats the bed that they used as justification to cut the yard, don't know where she lives, don't know if it was just a quick notice and then cut, or 10 notices, don't know if the beds were not 5 foot high and overrun with mice etc. There also could have been a history we don't know about, did she do something to "challenge the city" was the city getting even? Do you know everything? For all I know the pictures could have been from 3 years ago.

You would think the city would have a reason for cutting it and not being total idiots, that is all I am saying. Don't be so quick to label me as greedy or a lawn monger.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

"Don't be so quick to label me as greedy or a lawn monger."

I never said that, and you're reading too much into my questions instead of taking them at face value.

This is the only thing I said in a previous post in the thread:

"people like Oceandweller who don't respect property rights."

And this is why I say that:

"so long as its in touch with the landscape design of the area and not decreasing the area in property value"

You are putting conditions on the use of the persons landscape because your concern is the areas (i.e. ONES) property value. You are not respecting a persons property rights in this case. Do you see why?

With regards to your answer of question 1:

"Nothing, its not my city nor do I agree with it."

Why are you taking the question personally? Consider it a hypothetical question that could be asked in any city or town. It's a question of ethics, not legality.

Again,

Why does ONES belief in some kind of entitlement to higher property values supersede the rights of others to use their yard/property for growing food?

You didn't answer that question. You just talk about maybe she did or didn't decrease property values. I changed YOUR to ONES so you would take it less personally.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

The question sounds pretty litteral to me... What gives "YOU" the right to restrict people from growing their own food in their yard?

Normally I would not have taken it literally if you hadn't already said, Problem is people like Oceandweller who don't respect property rights."

In some cases your property isn't entirely yours, either due to easements, etc. I don't own the oil underneath my property, or I would be a millionaire. Thats why in the south some people live in the "Country" and some in the "City". That however doesn't pertain to this case but is factual whether you agree or disagree.

I think if ones not taking care of their yard then I honestly have no problem with the city stopping in and cutting it down, whatever that may be, especially if you have a bunch of complaining neighbors "granted it could have just been one in this case further proving her point and the city jumped the gun".

Why does ONES belief in some kind of entitlement to higher property values supersede the rights of others to use their yard/property for growing food?

Gee I didn't know I was obliged to answer every one of your questions, but sense I really dont like you much I will.

I think it has to do with where you live. If you live in the country then by all means its common place to have a farm or large vegtable garden, many people in the city have vegetable/herb gardens and many in their front yards WO issue. The whole attitude of "ITS My property I can do whatever I want to do with it" is the reasoning for many HOA associations, many of which I do not like.

How would you like to build a really nice house, keep your yard up, only to have a ton of junk cars parked out front, grass 10 foot high, and have cockroaches/mice issues constantly?


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Can you answer the question below?

Why does ONES belief in some kind of entitlement to higher property values supersede the rights of others to use their yard/property for growing food?

I get that your are saying a person or persons might not like how the property owners yard looks. Because you or a group of people don't like it that gives you the right to what? To order them to change their landscapes around to your personal tastes? And how is this fair to the property owner?


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

Well, this certainly opened a can of worms! I LIVE in HOA controlled community on a golf course, and there ARE rules about what can and can not be planted.

Property values are way down at the moment, and the nosy control freaks running the Home Owner's Association have mostly gone the way of all those who suffer bank forclosures...

I got lucky, and hid my little vineyard in a side yard. Many of my trees and plants are in pots, and they can't say a word about that. Nobody around to complain any more, but I'm way over the dreaded HOA, and we are looking for acreage in an agricultural community where Homeowners actually plant what they want, and most even have horses, goats, and chicken coops!

We'll keep the lovely golf course home as a vacation rental, and move all our edible plants to the acreage. Officially looking in one week, and hoping to find the dream place very soon!

Suzi


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

I am thankful I live in an area where there are no HOAs. I can grow whatever I want as long as it's not illegal drugs like marijuana.

But to answer the original question, I would be upset if officials cut down my edible plants and I would be fighting mad if they cut down bearing-age fruit trees. There is no excuse for that!


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

I pobably know why the City did that outragious thing to this poor woman. Man she is black and probably the city gov are Republicans, that is obvious


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

That is certainly a possibility Foolish. There are still a lot of racist people out there, both black and white.


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RE: Woman's edible garden cut down by city

I have to say, we have an offer on property over an acre in the agricultural place we desire. Will the landscape plans include a lawn? You bet your sweet bippy, they will!! Ha! and we are moving from the green, green golf course away from the HOA!

Nothing is more relaxing and peaceful and fun for kids to play on, than a watered and mowed lawn. We plan to segment areas for attractive raised beds, and small orchard/vineyard areas with paver and gravel paths running through the landscape, but that lawn and flowers will be a major part of it.

The back will contain a swimming pool/spa, outdoor BBQ kitchen, putting green with artificial turf, and we hope to save on utilities by going off the grid with propane and solar electricity.

You do what you do, and we all have differences in what we think is attractive! Used cars and tires in the property next door with broken down tractors amongst the vegetables and overgrown trees with a huge RV blocking any possible view is not attractive to us, and would require the thickest hedge we can muster up!! Of course, that is not the case because we check pride of ownership in any areas we intend to live. No control over who buys the house next door, though, so it is what it is, without a HOA or city controls. You get what you pay for. We are paying for "freedom to grow," but a nice lawn is a major part of a landscape to us, and it is part of our "freedom to grow."


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