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RE: Cabbagegate
  • Subject: RE: Cabbagegate
  • From: "Johnson, Cyndi D Civ USAF AFMC 95 CS/SCOSI" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 09:20:41 -0800

I could actually agree with the county on certain aspects, especially
the unpermitted workers. We've had issues in my neighborhood with a
person running a welding shop even though the zoning doesn't permit it.
His employees park in other people's yards and there have been thefts
close by there, we don't have the problem on other streets. There are a
lot of complaints with the county about him though. 
I am not sure I agree with one of the news reports which says "Urban
gardeners also tend to use ecologically friendly growing methods, much
like Miller, who grows his veggies organically." Haven't there been
studies that home gardeners who choose to use non-organic methods are
not so good at applying them at the recommended rates? Although I
suppose if you're growing on that scale you know what you're doing,
unlike the beginner who has 3 tomato plants and drowns them in
fertilizer and Sevin dust.  
But still, once he got it rezoned the county should just drop the suit.
Maybe they need money like most other bits of government.   


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
Behalf Of Jesse Bell
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 6:44 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Cabbagegate

Oh good God.  I used to live close to that area of Georgia when I was
in junior high and high school.  I can totally believe this.  Amazing,
isn't it?  Boggles the mind...

On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 8:44 PM, james singer <inlandjim1@q.com> wrote:
> Everybody's seen this, right?
>> AOL News
>> (Sept. 15) -- His neighbors call it "Cabbagegate." And it cost Steve
>> Miller a lot of green. The Clarkston, Ga., man was fined $5,200 for
>> too many vegetables in his backyard.
>> Miller had been growing legumes for 15 years, selling them at local
>> farmers markets and giving them away to friends, before he was cited
by the
>> Dekalb County Code Enforcement office for the first time last
>> It's illegal to garden at such a level in the zone where he lives.
>> tried to challenge the penalty, but a reprieve was slow in coming,
and the
>> fight's not over.
>> "Time went on, but no answers, then I get a letter in the mail with
>> fines," he told AOL News. "Didn't get an answer back from the county
until I
>> started getting notices from code enforcement in October, and before
I knew
>> it I got a subpoena to go to court."
>> After a long legal battle, Miller successfully rezoned his land. But
>> despite that victory, the county is still fining him for all of his
>> vegetables, and even for hiring workers to weed the fallow land after
>> stopped working it.
>> Miller runs a relatively large operation for a backyard gardener --
>> one and a quarter acres in production with crops like celery,
>> lettuce, Swiss chard, beets, cilantro, carrots and, of course,
cabbage. He
>> peddles his harvests at farmers markets, but doesn't always turn a
>> And it's far from his main occupation. Miller is a landscaper by
>> "It's not my source of income, it's my passion," he said. "If it were
>> main source of income, I'd have to sell my house."
>> Miller had no idea that growing vegetables on his land was illegal --
>> fact, he purchased the plot because he knew people had grown
vegetables for
>> profit there in the past.
>> While many food activists cite urban agriculture as crucial to
>> establishing locally sourced food systems, zoning laws present
>> What distinguishes outlaw tomato plants from a legitimate commercial
>> operation is not always clear. Some, like Miller, become unwitting
>> violators.
>> "There's a fine line between urban agriculture and backyard
>> said Michael Wall, communications director for Georgia Organics.
"Since this
>> is an emerging issue, there are going to be some gray areas.
>> "Most of the time," he continued, "it's the laws that need updating."
>> In Georgia, as across the country, many municipalities are making
>> compromises to encourage new, productive land uses. Earlier this
year, New
>> York's underground apiarists scored a victory when the city agreed to
>> beekeeping legal, and allowances for backyard chickens have been
enacted in
>> many cities, such as Seattle and New Haven, Conn.
>> Sometimes, however, it takes a case like Miller's to motivate change.
>> glad that the county was able to help him rezone his land, but still
>> by giant fines he incurred.
>> The county refused to comment as the case is still pending, the
>> Journal-Constitution reports.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Jesse R. Bell

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