Julie Bass, of Oak Park, Michigan, wanted to grow her own food. She was a fan of organic vegetables, so she decided to convert her front yard from the grass-and-tree landscaping typical in her neighborhood into an edible garden. Because she had just torn up the front lawn to install a new sewer system, she had a perfect opportunity to start fresh. She planted cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs in raised wooden planters, and waited to reap her produce.
A neighbor didn't like her choice of landscaping.
The neighbor called the city and complained that Bass's yard disrupted the look of the neighborhood. The city agreed, and issued Bass a ticket.
Bass was offended. Organic produce is expensive. If she wants to grow her own, she reasoned, why shouldn't she be allowed to? She refused to change her yard. The city insisted; she lawyered up.
Now, with neither party being willing to back down, the case is likely to go to a jury trial. If Bass loses, she faces up to 93 days in jail. All for following the example of the White House! Has news of Michelle Obama not yet made it to Michigan?