Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The joys of gardening

A woman in a Michigan city planted a vegetable garden in her front yard. Now the city's convinced it's against the city regulations, and she faces jail time.
The problem is, those regulations are very vague. I really hope the court will prove her in the right. Admittedly, I'm not a lawyer and know nothing about American city regulations (I actually barely know anything about Czech ones). But I think that:
A) she has every right to plant vegetables in her garden if she wishes to - and it's not like she's planting Giant Hogweed or something,
B) the city's logic is highly dubious, and they should be told as much. "Suitable" is not "common", at least not only that.

And now our overload of apples and cherries seems like nothing. A blessing, which I'm sure it is. Although it rather keeps me from sewing.


  1. It's unfortunate. I think in the city there are more rules about things like that. Her front yard doesn't look that great, but would it look any better with nothing? I'm not sure it would be an improvement.

  2. It's unfortunate indeed - it seems it's reached a point when none of the sides is likely to make a compromise, which is stupid and sad.
    If it's the look that's a problem, maybe if she planted a hedgerow around her front yard, even low... it would immediately look better.

    But, as I said, I don't really know much about American city regulations. I'm a philologist, and what bugs me most about the situation as a philologist is the city's representative's idea that using a single dictionary will cover the meaning of a word. It is, I guess, something you grasp more easily if you are a translator (and constantly struggle with figuring out what exactly does a word mean in certain situation)... The man seems to think that a word's meaning can be translated into a single word in the same language. There is a reason why those two are two distinct words, you know...
    The Free Dictionary uses several other dictionaries and none of them says "common".
    It rather says "appropriate for a purpose or situation". We may still arrive at the conclusion that using your front yard as a vegetable garden is inappropriate (because, for example, the vegetables may be polluted with exhaust fumes from the street), but for the sake of justice we must start on the correct grounds!
    *sigh* I hope there will be someone aware of these facts in the courtroom.

  3. P.S. Others at the Fox article pointed out that, in fact, not even the dictionary the man is using (Webster) says that "suitable" is "common". Which they definitely should have picked up on in the article itself...

  4. Great post, and the lady SHOULD be allowed her front garden!