Here's a story I've been following on my blog since July 30th, when I posted Oak Park Woman plants vegetable garden; city objects
. In it, I summarized the situation.
the Bass family of Oak Park lost their lawn when the sewer line running under their front yard was replaced. Instead of replacing it with a lawn, they replaced it with a vegetable garden. Their neighbors complained to the city and the city has cited them with a criminal violation of city ordinances. The Basses and the city have a court date on July 26th.
Mrs. Bass posted a more complete summary after I wrote (and she read) the above. Please read it.
( As someone familiar with the area, I'm not surprised this is happening in Oak Park. )
Beginning Friday, July 8th, the number of hits on that post began climbing dramatically. When I investigated how that happened
, I found out that Drudge happened
A couple of days ago, Matt Drudge placed a link to The Agitator's post
on his front page with the headline "Woman faces 93 days in jail for planting garden in front yard..." Since then, the story has spread like wildfire. Here is a list of the media sources I've found covering this story with links to their articles (Hat/tip to April Alexander at Urban Homestead Diaries
for compiling most of these).
Grist: Michigan woman could face jail time for growing a garden
Treehugger: Michigan Woman Faces 93 Days in Jail for Planting a Vegetable Garden
Huffington Post: Woman Could Be Jailed For Vegetable Garden
Washington Post: Julie Bass may face jail time for planting vegetables
Look at that progression. Not only are the environmental publications and the avowedly liberal Huffington Post on board, one of the two national papers of record, The Washington Post, is now covering this story. The issue has even attracted attention from overseas.
The Daily Mail (UK): Woman faces jail for growing vegetables in her front yard
A check of Google News shows 66 results for "Julie Bass"
, all of which are about this story and are all from July 8th or later.
As for how Drudge was indirectly responsible, he drove traffic to The Agitator, which drove traffic Julie Bass's blog OakParkHateVeggies
, where she has a link to my post. Even from three steps away, Drudge increased my readership. Behold the power of Drudge.
In case you're wondering what you can do about it, there is a petition
. 4,400 people signed it by Friday, less than a week after it was put up.UPDATE:
The charge against Julie Bass for her garden has been dropped. That's the good news. The bad news is that it has been dropped without prejudice, which means that it could be reinstated at any time. The worse news is that the city is now after her for her dogs. To read more, check out MyFoxDETROIT.com
, the Detroit News
, and the Detroit Free Press
. Julie Bass herself has comments on her blog here
. Finally my tl;dr comments along with a larger version of the Fox 2 Detroit video are at Good, bad, and ugly news in Oak Park's "War on Veggies"