Regulation Plant a Garden, Go to Jail for 93-Days?! Nanny of the Month (July 2011)


They're cracking down on food trucks in St. Louis and busting those who bust a sag in Collinsville, Illinois, but the nation's top nanny is the Detroit-area scold who just can't stand front-yard vegetable gardens.

Last year a Georgia man who committed a similar offense faced only fines, but not Julie Bass, who was looking at 93-days in the slammer for her veggie violation.

Presenting's Nanny of the Month for July 2011: Oak Park, Michigan City Planner Kevin Rulkowski!

Just over one-minute long.

"Nanny of the Month" is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Opening animation by Meredith Bragg.

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  1. Front yard vegetable gardens are a fundamental 9th amendment protected right.

    Im dead serious with that comment.

    1. If you’re planting your own vegetables you’re messing with interstate commerce.

      1. The 9th amendment came AFTER the ICC, so supercedes it.


          Report to your local detention center without delay.

          1. Bow to me, bitches.

  2. Didn’t the government actually ENCOURAGE that sort of thing during wartime in the past?

    Victory gardens they were called!

    Julie Bass was just planting a Victory garden! That should get the neo-conservatives on her side if she says this.

    1. Rebrand that as an “WTF Garden”, and you’ve got a winner.

      1. goes great with the “WTF City Planning”

    2. They did, FDR was one of America’s worst presidents. I hate that bastard in the wheelchair.

    3. Never mind the victory gardens of the past, Michelle Obama is out there telling people to do it now. Apparently she’s just trying to drive up revenues.

  3. I would be thrilled if my neighbor planted a garden. Currently, tallest weed is about 2 inches short of my waist (just checked).

  4. “”If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common.”

    The term “Webster’s Dictionary” is in public domain. There are several companies that produce a “Webster’s Dictionary. This person’s citation is not … well … suitable. Let us see what a reputable dictionary has to say. Oxford says suitable means “right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation”. Well, for the people who actually own the lawn having a garden there is suitable.…..?region=us

  5. Every Garden a Munition Plant.

    1. Thank you, that is what I was looking for!

  6. *Hell*

    ^ Sic semper tyrannis

  7. “That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski

    I think I get it.

    I’d also be very disturbed if everytime I looked at a garden I was reminded of that traumatic day when I fell-on/was-raped by a cucumber plant. Never being able to get it out must be even worse.

    Mr. Rulkowski has my deepest condolences.

    1. Mr. Rulkowski can eat shit and die in a fire. What a blatant fucking despot.

  8. (my tomatoes have started fruiting, the squashes are blooming like crazy. the beans, eh, they’re comin along. luckily, the code inspector was here last week to complain about our lidless trashcans, so I think the garden is safe.)

    1. (c’mon Gardening Thread!)

    2. (My poblano plant is growing like crazy, but doesn’t even have any blossoms on it. I started it from seed in February. WTF?)

      1. 1. Overwatering?
        2. bad NPK balance in your fertilizer? (too much N, not enough PK)
        3. Extreme Heat?

        1. (It has been hot [hottest July on record, I think]. I only water when it wants a drink – about every other day. I’ll check the soil. I’ve never had a problem with pepeprs before – they have always been ridiculously easy for me to grow.

          1. I have also been fighting these beetle-like insects all summer. They kind of look like squash bugs, but seem a bit more angular & boxy in their body shapes. Anyways, they hit my cukes pretty hard, but I still managed to get a decent crop. They also seeme dto like my sunflowers.

              1. Nope – they’re really dull grayish-brown. I think they may be stink bugs, but they don’t stink (although I think stink bugs only stink when squished, and I haven’t squished any, just sprayed the hell outta them with my soap and water aphid spray).

                1. Try Round Up.

          2. they have always been ridiculously easy for me to grow

            Right? My problem has been with hot varieties not being hot. At all. Talkin’ sweet cayenne peppers. Need to amend with some lime I think.

            Definitely not overwatering, try a “blooming/flowering” fertilizer, something like 15-30-15. Maybe hang a gauzy cloth to try and get them a lil cooler.

            1. I know nothing about peppers, but does that have to do with age or anything? Like year 1 they arent hot, but they get so with age?

              Or do you have to replant every year anyway?

              1. I think capsicums CAN be perennial areas with no frost, but for the rest of us they’re annuals (unless you got lights to keep them indoors over the winter.)

                It’s totally a soil thing though, because the ones I’ve planted in potting soil actually got their heat (same bath of seeds).

                Right on the bay, so my soil is all sand and clay (entirely sand 1.5ft down). Amended with peat this year and last, to help with water absorption and retention, and add some organic content. Never remembered to get some lime though.

                1. you can make homemade pepper spray from the capsicums (pepperspray is oleoresin capsicum btw) and then tase the rabbits that try to eat it! the circle of less-lethal life!

                  1. then tase the rabbits

                    Gives them a terrible flavor.

      2. The heat is really screwing with our chilies (except the little Thai hots of which I have an overabundance). That said, last year they started flowering and bearing as fall started in. Didn’t get as many as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t bad.

        More seriously four of the “yellow crookneck squash” we planted were actually cucumbers and now I have too much cucumber and not enough squash.

    3. (The only vegetables I’m growing this year are sport peppers. I’m planning on canning my own hot giardiniera.)

      (Unfortunately, the humidity is messing with my herb drying operation.)

      1. Do I smell an opportunity for increasing funding?????????????

    4. if i tase the rabbit that is eating my tomatoes, is that excessive force?

  9. I spent 93 days on a 93-day hiatus.

  10. Two of my hop plants died since last year, one over the winter, one during the annual rainfall in one month period.

    The remaining one is producing like crazy though.

    1. The Ohio Valley is possibly the worst enivronment for hops.

      Well, within the temperate zone.

    2. The remaining one is producing like crazy though.

      He was just pushing out the less-productive competition 🙂

  11. Millions of Americans are sentenced to jail every year for growing plants. Why should we cut this lady any slack?

  12. Julie Bass was looking at 93-days in the slammer

    “Looking at” or actually serving? Another hyperbolic H&R propaganda piece, an “isolated incident” that has apparently gone into reruns here. At worst she’ll pay a small fine for having a garden in her front lawn. At best the jury will let her go. As evidenced by all the gardening comments here, having a home garden is not a criminal offense in America.

    1. that’s typical of media reports though. iow, reason isn’t being inconsistent. TECHNICALLY, at least in my state, one could get a year for most misdemeanors, like DUI

      in reality, a DUI will net a first time offender ZERO jail time (where i live, we don’t even BOOK them unless there are special circ’s. we just drive them home after they are given a chance to take a breathalyzer, etc.), and even a second DUI usually won’t result in jail time, and if any – a day or two, etc.

      auto theft technically could get you well over a year (it’s a felony), but i’ve NEVER seen a first time offender get more than 30 days.


      1. All true, but doesn’t the threat of incarceration for a silly code violation–even though Reason knows and I know and you know that it will never come to that– sound much more end-of-the-worldish? Who will comment on a dog-bites-man story? Effective propaganda has to stretch the truth in an artful way. And when you have a willing audience, half the battle is won.

        1. true dat. as long as you recognize what is truth, and what is propaganda, that’s ok.

          but ideologues will always do it.

          NORML for instance grossly distorts the true incarceration for MJ offenses, because it’s in their interest to make it sound worse than it is.

          DV advocates grossly distory the actual prevalence of DV assaults because it’s in their interest

          god knows antirkba types use all sorts of distortions, etc.

          iow, this woman faces about as close to zero a percent change of going to jail for 93 days as could be calculated with my 5 significant digit troll-o-meter

    2. So giving some officious prick the power to hit you with a violation that includes the option of sentencing someone to jail time for growing a garden is a good thing to you? The point is not that a jail sentence is unlikely – the point is that jail is even possible. How exactly is a garden a threat to the public health, safety and welfare?

      BTW, since this dipshit staked his decision on his nonsensical definition of “suitable,” which to him means “common,” then if a number of neighbors followed suit the garden would be common and hence allowable. The decision is arbitrary and capricious.

    3. The *possibility* of jail time for… fucking GARDENING… should be sufficient cause for reflection, even for a prick like yourself.

    4. “As evidenced by all the gardening comments here, having a home garden is not a criminal offense in America.”

      You won’t have to look far in order to find loads of comments supporting marijuana production and use, but those activities remain illegal and punishable by law in most parts of the country and under federal law.

      The issue has nothing to do with the popularity of gardening or its legality. The issue is the threat of imprisonment for daring to garden on ones own property.

      Moreover, although you attempt to minimize the threat of actual imprisonment a great many current inmates can attest to the often irrational imposition of blatantly inappropriate criminal sentences. As long as it’s on the books, the possibility of enforcement is real.

  13. I had no idea Meredith’s a dude!!

  14. To be fair, most communities have guidelines and codes for this kind of stuff. I can’t paint my house certain colors, for example.

    This woman sounded like a trouble-makin’ hippie, no offense.

    1. That’s true, but you won’t be sent to jail if you select the wrong color.

  15. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

  16. People have sorrow and joy; they part and meet again. The moon dims or shines; it waxes or wanes.

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