Media Circus

It’s been so hectic.  The Post-Dispatch has a new article on the garden, and I’ll be on Fox2 this morning. I promise to post details of the appeal today or tomorrow. Channel 5 this evening, and possibly the NY Times in the coming week.

Our garden picture with almost 1000 comments!!! -Post Dispatch

Freedom Center of Missouri -Civil Rights Activists that took our case



38 Responses to Media Circus

  1. wadingacross says:

    From the Dispatch article – and somewhere else – it’s clear that you won. Which is wonderful news. That said, me being the ever pessimist looking for the lead lining in the clouds, as I noted before, I wouldn’t be at all surprised and I pretty much expect that the city council will be trying to amend or institute a new ordinance to make sure no one else can plant a full garden in their front yard. You’ll probably be grandfathered in as long as you continue to maintain a garden – or whomever lives in the house after you continues it too.

    I say this because of the response from Public Works over the last several months and the dissenting response from the board that ruled in your favor – that your win doesn’t mean that the board feels your garden is acceptable, just that it’s ‘legal’.

    You’ve said that the city council and mayor are supportive or ambivilent. I think you’re going to have to continue to work to win the council over, otherwise they will bow to pressure from Public Works, that planning board and other ‘concerned citizens’ who see your garden as a blight – whereas a wild flowering landscape of various plants, shrubs and such are not.

  2. The one says:

    I’m keeping an eye on your story from Istanbul, Turkey. I used to live in St. Louis years ago and can definitely feel for you with those pesky city folks 🙂

    Maybe the problem is that you’re not using Monsanto’s products? 😀

    Keep up the spirit!

  3. Jerry says:

    Very happy that things seem to be moving in your favor. Try and get city council to cover the costs of that kidney stone since they’ve wasted all your time!

  4. I feel for you when you talk about city harassment. While the city has never bothered me about my garden in my front yard, they did harass me about my personal choice of vehicles which were legal, but personally unliked by the code enforcement officer. Eventually I had no choice but to run for mayor. I won a four year term. You might have to do this in order for the harassment to end.

  5. What you are doing is awesome, and I wish you great luck. Hopefully, the news coverage will do a great deal to ensure you get a better deal. People tend to get outraged over intrusive government stuff anyways, so I’m hoping that will work in your favor. Or, like Mr. Kysylyczyn did, just run for public office! Then turn the mayor’s house into a garden. That’ll show ’em.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Mary Ellen Adams says:

    Yard looks lovely. So much nicer than flat, boring, grass. I can sort of see by the photos in the paper why you don’t plant in the backyard. I see large mature trees. Probably too shady, like my yard, now filled with ferns, hostas, etc. Except for one small area with sun that is chock full of tomato plants. Hope your health problems have been resolved.

  7. BW says:

    Keep fighting the good fight. I’m glad you’re winning, and I think it’s sad that people who are taking care of their yard – albeit in a non-standard way – have to justify actions taken on private property. Why can’t neighbors just talk to you about their concerns person-to-person instead of running to the city/police? So much better to be using the land productively than wasting water on growing grass.

    Maybe you start asking all the other neighbors if you can have their grass clippings to use as mulch.

  8. Ronda says:

    Hello, I live in unincorporated St Louis County and my neighbor and myself have front yard/side yard gardens with many different kinds of vegetables and fruits. We have walkers who come by and ask, “Oh what is that growing?” it is a wonderful area and we have no complaints. Come live here, you would be welcome.

  9. Denise says:

    hello – I am glad you won over ferguson – I have been a long time resident who has had similar problems and tickets while others on the same block can go for years with nothing being done. I would be very interested in speaking with your lawyer to see if he can in fact help me with the current problem I have with ferguson

  10. Cannonholler says:

    Good for you! Living in the country (60 miles or so SW of St. Louis) I forget how much freedom we have to garden where & when we choose. Eat more kale!

  11. omomma says:

    That is an awesome garden! Congratulations on your win. Tell your city council folk to c’mon down and see all the front yard gardens in Webster Groves. A fully gardened yard is a thing of wonderful beauty and makes for very pleasant neighorhood walking. Also makes for a cooler environment and eye-pleasing landscapes everywhere.

  12. Martin Pion says:

    I just read the article on page A5 in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I can understand the city’s concern about a front yard vegetable garden because it obviously could be unsightly. It seems reasonable to make an exception in your case, given your evident concern about aesthetics, but local bureaucracies are difficult to deal with sometimes.
    Sorry to learn of your personal health problems. They appear to demonstrate why we need universal healthcare coverage in this country, a single payer government run system being the best option. I guess the closest we’ll get to that is the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act. Will that allow you to obtain insurance at some future date?
    Good luck with your efforts!

  13. katyred says:

    I think Code Enforcement should ride around and site homes with junk cars and trash in the front yards. Your garden is great and we should follow the example of other townships that allow front yard gardens. I passed homes today on the way home that have broken out windows, chairs and even a recliner on the porch – this looked worse than your garden.

  14. David Peterzell says:

    Good luck! I’m following your story from afar.

  15. Sheri says:

    Congratulations on your win! I hope to see it on the news here in Washington State. Way to go!

  16. Karen says:

    Congratulations!! Fingers crossed that the city will stop harassing you now. But I would definitely keep an eye and ear on your city council.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, and yes – you should be ‘grandfathered’ now by this ruling. We can only hope for you and we will! It is a beautiful garden, imho.

  18. chris ellen montgomery says:

    Why is a vegetable garden concidered unsightly? What hog wash… The Town Council needs to find important work to do… If this is what they are worried about with everything that is going on in the world today… Geez…

  19. sablebombe says:

    I just heard, and read, about your case and your win! Fantastic news…….. your garden looks absolutely wonderful and I am so happy for you and your family! Well done!

  20. Kim Williams says:

    Way to go! This California farmer completely supports what you’re doing for your beautiful family and local community. What a great example you are setting for your son and others. This is exactly the kind of local activism this country needs in order to instigate change. I hope more people do the same, to show support, to produce their own food, to question government that is currently NOT for the people. (GREAT garden by the way!).

  21. Anonymous says:

    way to go man. thats some beautifull stuff. ppl shouldnt be bothered for gardening, of all things. i really wish doing that was a little more prevelent in society, if we grew our own food, we wouldnt have to deal with corperate food, and monsanto so much. always makes my day to see ppl who struggling just to do their thing win. much solidarity.

  22. Just read your story on Congratulations on your win.

  23. Congratulations on your victory. It’s a shame that it had to be such a struggle, but “good on ya” for fighting the good fight. So many people just give up and thus nothing ever changes.

  24. nadine says:

    i also just read your story on treehugger. i think what you’ve had to deal with is insane and i never in a million years would have thought anyone would have an issue with your beautiful garden. keep up the good work, you’re DEFINITELY doing the right thing.
    -from an Oregon CSA farmer with a much weedier garden plot than yours!

  25. Mona G. says:

    Reading this story in Norway,and I am shocked to learn that people have to fight for what they choose to grow in their own garden!!??..very Odd? Dont you ever give up this fight!
    We all half to grow ouer own food with this monsanto,chemytrails,all the poison in Industrial fruit & vegetables.This new time has already started in many Countries.
    “Back to Nature is the answer”
    Good Luck to you and all others like you!

  26. GregZ says:

    Thanks you so much for doing what you are doing Carl! We are thinking about putting a veg garden in both our side and front yards next year. Let them try and stop us! 🙂

  27. OrganicSabra says:

    As an STL gardener trying to subsidize our home’s food supply as well, you have our family’s full support. Your back yard looks too shaded to grow food anyway! 🙂 The fact that the local government has even made an issue of your garden has urged me to join you. Believe it or not, growing a front yard garden is becoming something more popular. I believe the more that local governments cite people for doing so, the more front yard gardens will pop up everywhere!

  28. lesleywhite says:

    Good luck with the interviews. fyi in countries like Australia, city councils are actually supporting the planting of sustainable environments (within realistic safety considerations). Food security, carbon footprint, health of our citizens and cohesive communities are vital to a healthy future. In fact you can even apply to some council’s for a grant to help you establish a verge garden!!

    I’ve worked with journalists before, they love extra information to help ‘flesh out’ their stories. I’d suggest you send a link like this to them so they can see how some other countries approach the same issue. All the best.

    This site references some suburbs in Sydney, Australia. They are about 20 minutes from downtown (medium density areas)

  29. Amy says:

    I would LOVE to have you as a neighbor. Your garden and your resolve to keep it is absolutely inspirational. Good luck on your winter garden.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Grade A job there with the garden, and I am very excited to see that more people are waking up to the fact that a garden is way more useful than grass. I am sorry you are being harassed and I hope all goes well.

  31. D. says:

    Congrats on your victory!!!! and I wish you the best of health.

  32. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m SO proud of you!!!!!!!!! i’m SO excited for you, and think you are SO awesome, and you did it in spite of the pain, and in spite of the harassment, and in spite of the odds, and you ROCK and YOU INSPIRE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! think of me next time you bite into a fresh drippy tomato, ok???? lots of love from the bass family! -julie

  33. sandra says:

    I have just come across your story through Resilient Communities. I am in Shropshire, England, it is unbelievable to me that you have had to go through such trauma when you are doing something productive, beautiful and useful with your OWN plot of land – it’s bonkers! I hope all goes well and that you are inspiration for others to do the same. Sending you good wishes!

  34. Cynthia in Denver says:

    Soooo, they want you to have grass in your front yard? PERFECT! PLANT wheat there all year … IT’S A GRASS!

  35. Serena says:

    here from Oak Park Hates Veggies

  36. Ren says:

    I just found this blog through and hers through
    My heart goes out to you and your family for all your struggles, and I hope and pray that the outcome is favourable and reasonable.

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