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Vegie grower avoids jail

Vegie grower avoids jail

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Media attention and public outrage means gardener won’t go to prison after all, reports SIMON WEBSTER.

The internet has come to the rescue of an American woman who was threatened with 93 days in jail for daring to grow food in her front yard.

 The City of Oak Park, Detroit, charged Julie Bass with a misdemeanour after she brazenly installed raised beds (pictured) in full view of innocent bystanders.

 The city ruled that vegetables were not “suitable live plant material” – i.e. they weren’t a lawn – and issued a warning. When Julie refused to give up her vegie patch she got a ticket, and then a misdemeanour charge, and was ordered to appear in court on July 26.

 Fortunately, news of Julie’s plight spread across the world wide web like an infestation of weeds. With The Washington Post and other mainstream media covering the story, Julie’s blog attracting lots of attention, and an online petition on track to reach 30,000 signatures, the city decided to back down and drop the charges.

 It’s a triumph for tomatoes, a win for watermelons and a victory for vegetable growers everywhere.