Like an Energizer Battery…

I apologize for taking so long to write since the appeal.  It has been difficult to even entertain what I want to say. On July 25th, we “won” our appeal, but it really feels like an empty win. It was obvious from the start, to all parties involved, that our endeavor was within code. The fact that the City pursued this for 4 months just shows how much the deck is stacked against us. I have come to find out that since the garden is not prohibited by ordinance, Council has deemed it necessary to write a “garden ordinance”. There is no way to know at this point what this ordinance will entail, but City Manager John Shaw made it clear in May that we would have to adhere to any new regulations drafted, and scoffed when I mentioned we should be grandfathered in.


18 Responses to Like an Energizer Battery…

  1. Eileen says:

    I’m seriously amazed that the City continues on this path. The fact that they now have intentions to write city code basically banning a front yard garden astounds me. I can’t help but wonder if America’s early immigrants had gardens in the front of their homes. I would assume they did. The thought that we have “evolved” to the point that a family planting a garden on their plot of land is found unacceptable leaves such a nasty taste in my mouth. Personally, I’d be finding a way to move out of that terrible town. Take your property and sales tax with you. Best of luck to you and your family, my friend.

  2. Angela H says:

    Have you thought about setting up a paypal account to take donations for your cause or to offer classes to teach others how to yarden? Also look into yr rights…it’s very petty for city council people to do this. They’ve spent alot of time and taxpayer money on this, it’s time for them to drop it.

  3. David McDonough says:

    I believe that there is a hidden agenda within the council/city managers office. Someone of importance to them has had their feelings stepped on and will not let it go. It’s deeper rooted than just the fact that you are growing vegetables in your front yard. How absurd it is to pursue such a trivial matter. It would seem that the town/city would have much more important issues to deal with than the terrible wrath your yarden has bestowed on them.

  4. Kate E. says:

    I just learned about you from a friend and I think you are so brave! I’m sorry you and your family have to deal with all of the nonsense, but I hope you can stand strong in your convictions because you give the rest of us out here, who want to be like you, strength and hope. I think Angela is right that you should set up a fund…maybe you can use Keep us posted!

  5. nashvillekate says:

    Congratulations! The ordinances will need to be approved. There will be a public hearing. Recruiting support among townspeople, nationally & internationally is crucial. How about starting gardens and plans for other folks as a paid consultant? Start an online consulting company, get paid for your expertise? Do any of your neighbors want a garden? Edible landscaping is becoming a hit here in Nashville, TN. We are planning Urban Food Forests!!!

  6. oh, karl- i know your feelings all too well… this is like groundhog day for me when i read your words… take comfort from the fact that you inspire so may people and that there really is such a thing as good karma… i know it’s hollow at times, but hang in there and sometimes great things will just hit you out of left field…i sure hope so in your case! in the meanwhile, keep eyes on the prize that you did this for your beautiful family and NOBODY can take that away from you. when your head hits the pillow at night, take comfort that you were the bigger man, you took the high road and you did the right things. sigh… karma, dude…hugs…

    • nashvillekate says:

      Congratulations! You are a trailblazer, ahead of your time. How ’bout helping others establish gardens, for a modest fee? Sort of like a consultant? Create your own job, sort of? The trellises you built look lovely! Here in Nashville, we are planning urban food forests, and the city seems to have a favorable view on that! Keep fighting the good fight and know you are appreciated and admired around the globe! I LOVE Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, BTW!

  7. t brown says:

    One truly disgusting comment from the city is that vegetable gardens are an eyesore. I have 1/4 acre in veggies – they are Beautiful!! Squash blossoms and leaves are awesome, as are all vegetables – they produce beautiful flowers which turn into ‘fruit’ – such magic! Any polytrickster who considers vegetables an eyesore, deserves to go hungry.

  8. wadingacross says:

    I can’t say that I’m surprised that the city will seek to create a new ordinance. That’s what bureacrats and politicians do… just like seeking new taxes during a recession/depression – oh, there’s always an excuse why those new taxes are a great idea and worth it…

    I am however a little surprised that you’ll probably not get grandfathered in to any new ordinance concerning gardens. Then again, considering how stupid the city has been about this issue it seems about right. Punish you for being right.

    Keep pushing as you’re able. Keep people up to date about when the city will publicly discuss the new possible ordinance.

  9. I can see this becoming my crusade, where do you think you have been challenged the most by this? By that I mean, is it your local legislative or judicial branch which is causing the trouble.

    • ridiculed says:

      Council, City manager, Code Enforcement, City “elites”. Hard to pinpoint where the opposition truly stands. It’s all back door, incognito. Thanks for the support. I’ll be here…

      • Ah, see that is where it is very tough. I am all too familiar with such road-blocks. Even as Vice Chair of the Citizen’s Planning Committee, I lacked any kind of political efficacy.

  10. […] Karl won the right to have a vegetable garden this year, but it looks like the war has only just begun. […]

  11. hey karl- would you be willing to link to my letter on your blog? thanks for considering- julie

  12. Nastarana says:

    If I lived in your town, I would be contacting you about building trellises for me. Maybe gradeners near you would be willing to pay a fair price for good work. Rose growers especially need sturdy trellises.

    God bless you for having the courage to stand up to the Conformity Police.

  13. Karl, I want to wish you and your family all the best. A Missouri friend posted on FB about your fight, and I included your links in my latest blog post today. I hope it will help raise more awareness. Keep up the fight! Our little town of 1500 people recently “won” a fight with the BLM about oil and gas leasing in this agricultural, viticultural valley (Paonia, Hotchkiss, Crawford communities of Colorado. You and others can win too. (Here’s my post if you’re interested:

  14. Anonymous says:

    Karl, I just spent a little time reading your site and wanted to find ideas and advice for planting – and was shocked to read a city is taking legal action…against a garden! What happened to the “land of the free”?! The only thing you should have to worry about are snails eating on your lettuce… Best of luck for your continuous fight! Greetings from Germany.

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