I’ve been meaning to post about my garden for several days now, but first, I want to talk about something important.
In my life, I’ve been pretty active in social justice, but this blog isn’t so much about that. Sure, there’s no way to completely separate “Life” and “Activist,” but for the most part, I don’t get super political on here.
Yesterday, though, I heard about something that really pissed me off, and I thought it was important enough to share with you all.
In Michigan, in a place called Oak Park, there’s a woman called Julie who has a lovely family and a lovely vegetable garden that she started with her husband and kids in her front yard after a tree (planted by the city, mind you) broke a sewer pipe and did a lot of damage to their yard. Instead of just planting grass, they decided to make the space useful, and planted veggies in some tidy raised beds.
The problem -gasp- is that this all transpired in the front yard!
Now, Julie and her family have been through all kinds of drama with the city, where a vague ordinance was cited… and, [SHAME ON YOU, OAK PARK!], the city is actually taking her to court over this matter.
That’s right. Instead of fighting violent crime or theft or spending the money on budgets that have already been cut (I know around here, and in many places around the country, libraries and education and sports programs and art&music programs are suffering, just to name a few), they are taking Julie to court, and she is facing 93 days in jail. OVER VEGETABLES IN HER FRONT YARD.
Now, historically, we know that in times of economic depression, the Grow-Your-Own Movement rises again. And, in the present, we know that kids and adults alike don’t get enough exercise, time outdoors, or vegetables. So why the hell is this such a big deal?
You can read more about it on Julie’s blog, Oak Park Hates Veggies, and I really encourage you to take a minute to write to the City of Oak Park Planner, Kevin Rulkowski, [Here's the contact info - go ahead and CC the Mayor, who is on that page, too]. If you only have two seconds, there’s a petition to sign, and if you happen to be flush, you can contribute to her Legal Defense Fund. Stand with me in solidarity of Julie and in defense of the Grow-Your-Own Movement.
Onto news of my garden. I was going to go out today to plant my pumpkins, but dang, it’s hot! 98* today. Perhaps this evening it will be tolerable, but now, at 1pm, there’s no way I’m heading out there.
Our brussels sprouts are getting bigger by the day (they’ve even grown since this photo):
Our Tom Thumb Lettuce came up and was delicious! Some of it’s coming back, but I need to resow, also, since all lettuce bolts eventually.
We thought for a little while that our broccoli was going to work out, as it turned into broccoli:
…but then it flowered (which was pretty cool, though). What can I say? No luck with broccoli so far. I’m going to resow that, too, for the fall.
The carrots are turning into carrots…
They’re bigger than this now, much wider around… now they just need to grow longer.
Our corn is coming up, though it’s in a different place this year and I think it’s less sunny there, as it’s not quite as tall as it was last year and it’s tasseling already. Hopefully it still works out. Our eggplants and peppers are flowering, with one or two eggplants trying to start, but no serious fruit yet.
And did I mention about our surprise plants?
We had three tomato-like plants growing up where I’d spread the compost and was trying to grow kale. The tomato-like plants totally took over the kale, and although I wasn’t planning to grow tomatoes, they looked so darn healthy, that I figured, why not? I’ll grow tomatoes, or whatever.
Well, whatever, it was, because…
…they started fruiting this week, and they are clearly tomatillos! That means the seeds were from our CSA. I’m just tickled. Two out of the three are tomatillos, and one is a tomato of undetermined origin, so we’re just going to have to wait a little longer for that.
Anyone have a fabulous salsa recipe? I’m going to have a LOT of tomatillos.