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A Tale of Two Cities, or A Tomato By Any Other Name Would Look Bad

Raised bedIt was the best of thyme, it was the worst of thyme. Oak Park, Michigan threatens to send rogue gardener Julia Bass to the cooler for planting vegetables in her front yard. Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon releases a Concept Report for updating zoning codes to promote growing and selling food in the city.

Bass, the vegetable villain, got blasted by a city planner who opined that “a tomato vine on a tomato cage is just not attractive,” and noted that “In planning and zoning, we try and put things in appropriate places. Inappropriate vegetables could have put Bass in jail for 93 days before a judge dismissed the charge.

Back on the home front, Portland's Urban Food Zoning Concept Report addresses growing and distributing food in the city and ways to increase access to healthful, local foods. It’s a compilation of what project planners heard from the community over the past nine months and offers direction for the zoning code revision.

It's not to late to chime in. Fill out the online questionnaire or attend one of three public meetings. Keep Portland safe for vegetables!

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