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Published on September 14th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe

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Georgia Man Fined for Growing Vegetables

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An Atlanta-area man is facing fines of up to $5000 for growing too many vegetables on his land.


Steve Miller (not Steve Miller of classic rock fame), has had an organic vegetable garden on his property for years. He grows food for himself and has even sold some of his bounty at local farmers markets.

He received his first citation from code enforcement back in January and has since incurred $5000 in fines. The tricky thing here is that after citations in January and February, Miller got his property rezoned to allow his garden. The county is still suing him for the fines related to the earlier charges.

Here is an interview with Miller and his attorney from WSBTV:

The question I have is how did code enforcement find out about Miller’s garden in the first place? Code enforcement isn’t in the habit of randomly dropping in on properties – did someone complain?

Have you guys run across zoning laws that prevent large-scale gardens? I know many areas have laws restricting things like backyard chickens, but this is the first case I’ve heard involving edible plants.

Source: WSBTV

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wheatfields

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Geary-OK/Base-Vines-Cattle/425635135186?ref=ts Vines_N_Cattle

    All entirely consistent with the philosophy that you can tell someone what they can or cannot do on their own land. Ya know, statism.

  • http://Web Loren

    This is something near to my heart as it is at the core of all the values I hold sacred. The government can and will kiss my A#@S over this issue. Hey America, your ancestors died because of stupid stuff like this. It is an insult and a criminal offense to this great nation to ever hear of this ever happening to anyone for any reason in this country. If I want to grow food for myself and my family and my friends or anyone for that matter then the government can stay out of it. And I don’t care one bit about the law in this case because it is an affront, and violates common law and tort law. It is therefore null and void. And I would challenge any authority to interfere with me and my survival. It is disgusting and reprehensible what the government is doing to this person over food. Are we nothing more then the property of the state? I thought we were a free people in this nation. If not then it is high time Americans wake up to the fact that they are chattel to be used as government sees fit. As for me and my house we are a free people and I am not the servant of the government.

  • http://organicgoddess.wordpress.com Lisa B.

    What really kills me about this story is that if this guy had had a big ol’ wasteful lawn sprayed with chemicals to keep it green, it would be totally legal. Yuck. Instead he is a good steward of his land, makes it productive, gives food away, and he’s fined.
    I think a vegetable garden is much prettier than a big field of grass any day.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      That’s a great point, Lisa! Acres and acres of lawn would have been no problem at all.

  • http://Web PrettyOldLAdy

    The FDA and drug makers make big secret money on food and drugs. It is the biggest game in government. The fda APPROVED DRUGS and gets huge kickbacks from the drug makers. They also hide natural healing.

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes in now 10 countries and the FDA does not promote this to the people.
    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

  • http://Web Vladilyich

    I lived in Atlanta for seven years and had a one acre organic garden for all of that time. I was harassed by the city zoning commission a couple of times because they wanted me annexed into the “Historic District”. They never tried fining me. I wonder which county (Metropolitan Atlanta covers 5 counties) this poor guy lives in.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      He’s in Dekalb county.

      Interesting to hear the other side of the coin when it comes to “historic districts.” I’m all for preserving our city’s history, but not at the expense of folks feeding themselves.

  • http://www.efekt.net Christian Guthier

    As a European I don’t quite understand this zone enforcement. Can’t you just grow what you want where you want it?

    • http://Web Brenda

      Except marijuanna!

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      The concern here was the size of his operation. I think he had to be rezoned for commercial agriculture since he had so many acres of vegetables and was selling the crops sometimes.

  • http://Web Sunscape

    How crazy is this! Georgia should be happy there are farmers who grow organic healthy crops instead of the pesticide-riddled fruits and vegetables you buy at the grocery store. Yikes, Georgia!

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  • http://Web Carole from Lehigh Acres, Florida

    I am ashamed of whomever is harassing this man. Why don’t you give him blue ribbons for his beautiful veggies instead. Don’t you have ANYTHING better do than harass people who are trying to do GOOD.

    • http://Web CORTEEN G.

      I WOOD LIKE TO NO WHAT GOD MINT WHEN HE TOLD US WAS TO LIVE OF LAND YOU PUT SEED AN A FIELD THEN LET THE MAN LIVE BUT THEY PASS A. LAW THAT LET YOU GROW WEED TO SMOKE WHEN YOU OR IN PAIN BUT FOOD YOU DON’T NEED.

  • http://Web michael

    SNITCH!!!

  • http://Web Dirt Farmer

    Vote Republican.

    Democrats tax and fine everything that can make money and those who try.

    Or just quit your job,hit the food bank up and food stamps and welfare and section 8 housing and free health care. They will even buy you car in massachusetts and pay for car insurance and repairs…I kid you not.

    I may try that root if I ever get fined for growing food.

    • http://Web aztecace

      Republicans wouldn’t want it because it would take money away from its Big Agriculture who pays them to look after its interests. 6 of 1 half dozen of another

  • http://Web berneita ellis

    This is so very scary. Absolutely no one any where has the right to tell anyone where and how much garden you can grow. This is natzeism to the fullest extent. We ,the people, pay some to govern but not to become radical. Let me know if they decide to regulate how much I am allowed to ,PEE.

  • http://Web Sandra Ray

    Fining this man for growing vegetables on his property — in what appears to be rural area — is ridiculous. This is gov’t regulation out of control and against citizens. This is absurd.

  • http://Web KEN0123

    THOSE STUPID DUDES HAS NOTHING ELSE TO DO,.BUT COMING AFTER THE REGULAR PEOPLE LIKE US,……AND DOING ALL THEIR SCREWINGS!,…SHOULD HAVE FIRED THEM AND/OR LAY THEM OFF,.AND TELL THEM TO GET A LIFE!,.TYPICAL NUTCAKES HERE!!

  • http://Web Hope in South Dakota

    I feel bad for the farmer. I’ll tell you a good one. Where I live there’s a cattle feedlot where people live and the owner has never got into trouble for this. He was not compliant with the feedlot. Our County and state officials allow this and they cover up for this business. I contacted the federal EPA and they don’t care either. This farmer isn’t doing anything wrong!

  • http://Web Mandy

    This man should be getting a tax break for growing his own food, not a fine. Shame on the county officials that push this issue against this man.

  • http://Web keith

    this is so stupid, how can they tell him what and how much he frows on his own land, Iam in county goverment here in Va. and it can not be done. They could say he grew to much grass, come on people. Ok, then, well anything that he has that he can not sale or give away to other people, he needs to put it all in a food processer and chop up really fine then take to the city or town groverment building and pour it all over the inside of building after it has begain to rott. The smell would be enough to teach them a lesson on being humans.

  • http://Web Sue

    The first big law to take effect under the Obama administration banned family backyard vegetable gardens of any kind. It was part of the food safety act, I think, a left over law from the Bush administration. It requires insane record keeping and inspections and rules for bigger organic farmers, and just made backyard gardens illegal outright. I remember sending emails about it to everyone I knew, and later I heard that it got tweaked somewhat, especially in regards to the organic farmers. I suppose they must have made it ok to have backyard gardens since Michelle Obama put one in at the White House. Let’s hope so!!!

    • http://Web DRek

      Lies. You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts. Non-commercial backyard gardens have never been regulated by the federal government. You tea-baggers think that if you repeat a lie often enough then it’s true.

  • http://Web ace

    LAND OF THE FREE AS LONG AS YOU DO WHAT YOUR TOLD.

  • http://yahoo David S.Walenski

    Atlanta is mad because they didn’t get a piece of the pie or garden in this case. why don’t they rub two nichols together and get a life.

  • http://Web Donna Rains

    This is insane! So many people unemployed, gas so dadgum expensive. Heck everything so dadgum expensive!! I have pepper plants by my porch and tomato plants at the side of the house. And dealing with code enforcement making us tear down my Moms house that she’s been in for 55 years. She’s homesick and wants to go home. Say something about my plants! It’s a God given right to grow food. Not all store bought is good for you. Too many chemicals and processes to keep it fresh longer ruins the flavor. Leave the man alone for doing good!

  • http://Web Random City Planner

    Zoning laws are crafted to not allow commercial growing or production on residential property. Someone had to have complained. It’s actually quite ridiculous that the enforcement officer took it this far. The end-around on this is probably a home occupation permit or stating that his garden is fully for personal consumption and hobby.

    • http://Web Ben

      My city visits my property at least once a year for assessments. It was a commercial operation (sold at farmers market) thus subject to zoning laws.

      • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

        In my neighborhood here in Atlanta, we’ve had trouble getting code enforcement out here even when there’s a very legitimate complaint. Our neighborhood has an organization (not an association, just concerned neighbors) who report things like crack houses and other illegal operations, and it often takes multiple calls to get anyone out. That’s why I was skeptical that code enforcement would just drop in.

        I live in Dekalb county, where Mr. Miller lives, and we could definitely use some code enforcement in my neck of the woods for things much more serious than a garden, commercial or otherwise.

  • http://Web karen

    Is the government so hard up for revenue that they have to go after a man who is just trying to feed his family and is generous enough to share.

  • http://Web juswannabeme

    This is just another case of the idiocy of our government. We are supposed to have freedom in this country, as long as we don’t infringe on other people’s rights. How is this guy hurting anybody? There is no unsightly sight, smell, sound, feel, or taste to a garden. A garden, even a vegetable garden, is beautiful. Time to kick the local government, who supervises these idiots, out of office.

  • http://Web JD

    Wake up America…..This is the New World Order….You will not be able to grow your own food..It will be illegal……..Accept the Mark of the Beast or Starve……….I’ll choose Heaven………

  • http://Web Breepat

    I agree with JD

  • Heather Edick

    UNACCEPTABLE. Back off, Big Government!

  • http://Web Brenda

    I think this is absolutely redicleous! Just another way to get more money and eventally Mr. Miller’s land will be taken away. What about the attorney’s fees.
    Shame, shame, shame!

  • http://web wayne

    the county apposess itself and does not relize it is poor naked and blind AND they don’t even know it. Many policy’s are VERY short sighted and have very many long term bad effects, which they have not studied out the long term effects – even to thier own demise.

  • http://Web awerasdf

    Do you own your land or not?

    The British colonists put up with less.

    • http://Web Dagwood Bumstead

      The whole lawn thing is bogus. We, at a minimum 25 degrees south in latitude of a nation from whom we fought for and won independence, somehow are stuck emulating them with this dainty crap, in our rugged land. Even in areas undergoing desertification. Reclaim America, reclaim ourselves, with Xeriscapes, and if we want, fruit/veggie gardens.

  • http://Web Liberty

    THAT’S SO LAME;IF IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE REZONING,THEN WHY NOT LET THIS FARMER KNOW WHAT HE SHOULD DO TO MAKE IT RIGHT.BUT FINES?THAT’S WAY OVER THE TOP.HISVEGETABLES LOOK HEALTHY;NOT LIKE THE LETTUCE,OR OTHER PRODUCE THAT HAVE BEEN MAKING PEOPLE ILL WITH SALMONELLA.I WOULDCHOSE TO EAT THESE FROM THE FARMER!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://Web Ben

    I’m a little confused by these comments. We only have one side of story (his) and he sold at a farmer’s market, making it a commercial operation. Zoning laws exist to protect people (from dangerous, hazardous or just annoying commercial property being next to our homes) and should the zoning laws not be enforced just because it’s a large garden?

    Can we possibly get more information on the story, like a newspaper article with the city’s comments? Perhaps neighbors complained about loud equipment, etc, etc.

    Even if they didn’t the city is perfectly within its rights to enforce zoning laws when he’s operating a commercial garden.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      From what I’ve learned, the city won’t comment because “the matter” is still in court. Hopefully some details will come out soon! I’d like more information, as well.

      • http://Web Alan In Cali

        These two are the whispers in the howling wind of outrage over this half story. I don’t think the guy would have any issues if he hadn’t sold his produce at at farmer’s market. I’m wondering what the Georgia Dept of Agriculture has to say in the matter of commercial crops. And the county/city zoning of the property, etc.

        I also await more background information about this story. Though by the time it comes out I probably won’t notice because of the latest outrage sucking up all the news bandwidth. *sigh*

    • http://Web Iowa

      If that is the case, should zoning laws be enforced for every household that sells things on ebay?

      • http://Web Ben

        No, because it doesn’t affect your neighbors. That’s why I want more information. Did he have loud equipment? It seemed he had employees coming and going, were they causing a disturbance? Was it attracting undesirable wildlife? There is a second side to this story and I think we should reserve judgement until it’s heard.

  • http://Web R. Johnston

    When did it become illegal to grow vegetables or shrubs or grass or anything else on our land that is meant for health and to beautify the land that is not destructive, like illegal drug plants?

  • http://Web joe

    thats the biggest crock of fecies i have ever heard. i saw some thing on the net about how the government is trying to make it illegal to grow your own vegetables. ithought it was just some b.s to get the conspiracy theorists riled up. i can’t believe its actually happening.

  • http://Web R. JOHNSTON

    I have to say one more thing about this, with people out of work and struggling to eat and pay for shelter and utilities, shouldn’t the government help, pay incentives for garden growing to every gardener in the u.s.? after all they are contributing to their communities, especially if they are taking their crops to the local markets to sell…..

  • http://Web Tom

    Atlanta should have never been rebuilt after the civil war. There was no intelligence there back then, and there still isn’t today.

  • http://GodsaveAmerica Gvani

    Oh God please Bless that man.

  • http://Web AngieA

    The scariest words in the English language…”I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” ~Ronald Reagan

  • http://Web Beth

    Stupid hillbillys. Maybe they are mad because the garden is organic. You’re not a TRUE American unless you use pesticides, herbicides, and all kinds of poisons!! Anyway, you’re not supposed to be growing food!! You’re supposed to be growing grass! Everyone knows real americans worship the almighty lawn, and RoundUp! Monsanto will come after you, and maybe they did in Georgia. Monsanto don’t like organic, y’all.

    • http://Web Sam

      Right on Beth!

    • http://Web Amy

      “Stupid Hillbillys”??? Beth you show an incredible amount of ignorance with that one statement. Thank GOD you live wherever it is that is so much more elite than lowly Georgia!!! Please, do us ALL a favor and stay there!!! We’ll take our “hillbilly” neighbors (In Atlanta, Brainiac?? You obviously have never been there!), over ignorant people like you any day! Get some manners!

  • http://Web CARLENE SERSEY

    SHAME ON WHOEVER TURNED HIM IN.MORE PEOPLE SHOULD GET OUTSIDE AND GET OFF THERE CHAIR AND PHONE, YOU CANT GET ANY EXCERCISE DOING THAT.WE HAVE THE SAME LAW IN OUR SMALL TOWN OF CLINTON MO.IT WAS IN OUR LOCAL PAPER SEVERAL YEARS AGO.WE HAVE PEOPLE TURN SOMEONE IN FOR THAT AND WONT TURN IN BAD THINGS THAT GOES ON.GO FIGURE.

    • http://www.altglobe.com Aviad

      That’s because they are afraid of the ppl with the criminal records, who usually do the more nasty things, and have no problem to mess with the gullible gardener…

  • http://Web Beth

    I think the first lady should pay these county officials a visit.

  • http://Web evelyn

    I live in Michigan and I’ve seen plenty of people grow garden in there back yard. I’ve had one my self and they never stop me. people are growning there own veggies, and it’s much better for you and healthier for you, someone must have a beef with this guy there is always someone who is going to spoil something good all the time well, good luck with your garden and I’ll say some prayer
    michelle

    • http://Web evelyn

      FOR GOD SAKE ARE OWN PRESIDENT HAS A GARDEN AT THE WHITE HOUSE YOU ASS MAYBE THIS GUY SHOULD GIVE THE PRESIDENT A CALL OR CALL THE NEWS AND SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THAT GOOD LUCK

  • http://Web BR Parker

    did i spell REDONKULOUS correctly?

  • http://Web Robert

    THEY CAN’T GET MORE TAXES, SO THEY WILL SQUEEZE YOU WITH AS MANY FINES AS THEY CAN CREATE UNTIL YOUR EYES BLEED!!!

  • http://Web mr natural

    ,,”outlaw farmer”
    oh brother!
    =/

  • http://Web bill

    as americans we have no rights 5000. fine for a garden when are americans going to get a back bone instead of getting the bone i think when a politition breakes the laws they should be fined 1000000. why not they stole it from the american people death to america at the hands ofthe elite

  • http://Web rich

    What is really disturbing is the fact that someone is getting a pay check to look at these types of things.
    I think Mr. Miller should look into suing the County for wasting taxpayers monies.
    Is there a law as to how many plants you can have per acre? Did some idiot actually count the plants. Sounds like another way for the government to justify it’s existence.

  • http://Web wes hartford

    maybe he should have grown marijauna instead, the fine would have been cheaper.

  • http://Web Cindy Bidwell Glaze

    Sorry for those who see this “new thing” and revolt, but this has been going on for at least the four decades I have been watching it. Neighbors want nice clean LAWNS, and anything else gets complaints. If you want a meadow, expect fines. If you want to have a kitchen garden, expect fines. My neighbor “helped me out” by mowing down my herb garden, as we obviously didn’t have time to keep up our lawn and let it get out of control. She showed us all our neighbors lawns to show how it “was supposed to look”.

    For me, it is a statement of this happens. Not new news. Maybe if you can tell us how to fix it it would help. Just outrage, and calling it names doesn’t.

  • http://Web De’Dee Browm

    I can hardly believe this! I mean are they going to come thru and say that I have to many blades of grass in my lawn?

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  • http://Web Inge

    Sorry to disappoint you, but this is possible all over the country. We have the same problem in my town. The problem is that urban residential zoning typically states that gardens are allowed, but commercial gardening is prohibited.

    Many folks are working hard to change that, but under current residential code all over the country, as soon as you load your excess tomatoes into the trunk to take them to farmer’s market, you are in violation of zoning code and may be fined. Usually they look the other way, but sometimes they choose to enforce it, esp. when someone is really blatant about it.

    And, yes, De’Dee, if you grow your lawn too long, you will also be cited for zoning violation. My city has a nice little scam going where they cite you and give you 5 days to comply (usually on a holiday weekend when folks go out of town). Then they come in, mow the lawn, and charge you $600.

  • http://Web Inge

    BTW, for a great read on the subject of what is encouraged and what is prohibited in agriculture, see Joel Salatin’s “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front”. It turns out the authorities are never friendly to small agriculture.

    • http://Web Jana

      As I understand it, he had a small commercial farm. On residential property.

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  • http://Web KM

    This is exactly what the system wants (similarly to what they’ve done to the marijuana plant), that we buy food only from official sources, and not get into self-sufficiency. Monsanto is GMO-ing crops and killing the seeds in the produce we buy exactly with that in mind.

    This guy should fight and not pay!

  • http://Web Ray Devine

    Must be a bunch of Demacrats running that town.They just want to control everyone.

  • http://Web Linda Ellen

    Can’t grow vegetables, can’t build sandcastles on the beach (Florida)….this is just the beginning. These politicians – dems and reps are both as bad – wanting to control every aspect of our lives…..

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      Linda – Do you have a link to a story about the sandcastles? I’d be interested to read it!

  • Janice McGinn Byars

    What has America come to? Don’t we have enough crime, traffic violations, and etc. to keep the law busy.
    Our country was built upon taking care of each other……….not fining then for helping out their neighbors.

  • http://Web Selina

    The government complains about the amount of food THEY produce for US and now they complain about the amount of food WE produce for ourselves. What is America coming to?

  • http://Web Selina

    I have emailed DeKalb County to express my opinion about them fining Mr. Miller. If you are in favor of them dropping this matter, feel free to email them at 311chc@co.dekalb.ga.us. If people do not stop this in one state, it will move across the country and before long, our right to feed ourselves will be taken from us. This would be a terrible thing for people to starve because the government wants to control our food.

    • http://www.vernsix.com Vern

      Thanks for the email link. I wrote to them as well.

    • http://Web Concerned

      I have also written them. I believe it is important to voice our concern directly to the parties responsible.

    • http://Web Laxmi

      Thanks for email id. I’m from CA and replied to that email so that these govt officials needs to help rather punishing Mr Miller. Why are they not fining First Lady who does lot of gardening in white house?

      • http://Web onefitrn

        I have also emailed them with my thoughts. We support you Mr. Miller. Good luck

    • http://Web MissL

      I replied in support of their decision to ask this person to pay for fines he incurred BEFORE his land was rezoned. Laws are laws. You don’t get to pick and choose which ones you’d like to obey and then just disregard the ones you don’t agree with. Not the way it works. His property wasn’t zoned for agricultural use. Once he started growing more produce than he was allowed by law, he was breaking the law and is subject to fines because of it. Now that he has rezoned his property, he isn’t incurring new charges. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pay the fines he was given BEFORE he got his property rezoned. Most people here are missing the point completely. Whether you agree with the law or not, doesn’t really matter. The law may be asinine. But the fact is… he broke the law and is required to face the consequences for it.

  • http://Web Paul Saunders

    why thats dumb in the middle of winter. Give me a break if it got rezoned after or what ever 5000 for helping others. What are they crazy?? What you want him to do give it away as if that would work. next time these people should get a life i don’t think a person died from eating a good healthy meal. Right???

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  • http://Web Barb

    That is ridiculous! What is happening to our freedoms? They are being stripped away right under our noses. We need to nip this in the bud before the upcoming law to stop all gardening, is passed. Wake up America!

  • http://Web Craig Bean

    This is an outrageous abuse of power! It is no wonder people are trusting government officials less and less all of the time!
    Mr. Miller takes action to put himself into compliance with the zoning law and his reward is to be prosecuted!
    My advice is to move the hell out of Georgia and come to Utah where we still have some freedom!

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  • http://Web tiggersmom

    This is asinine!! There are people all over this country that hire people under the table to do small tasks on their properties. He personally uses his veggies, and gives them away too, my goodness, he is helping people while he is doing something that he is passionate about, and loves to do. So, this is ridiculous!!! They really need to get their collective thumbs out of you know where, and drop these stupid charges, and leave the man alone, as well as telling the person that complained, to shove their collective thumb up theirs!!!!!!!!

  • http://Web Kathy

    This county promotes itself, on the county web site as: The Greenest County in America.
    See top left of homepage
    http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/index.html

    Chair of Code Enforcement Task Force is Super District 7 Commissioner Connie Stokes.

    conniestokes@dekalbcountyga.gov

  • http://Web Craig Eliot

    This is BS! Since when can’t you grow food on your own property? “Zoning” is just another excuse for the big agricultural enterprises to stop people from growing their own food! Americans, WAKE UP! Stand up to your corrupt officials! VOTE THEM OUT !!!!!!!!

  • http://Web carolyn

    Hmmm

    Didn’t Mrs Obama plant a garden in her back yard and promote everyone to do the same to promote healthy eating??

    I thought I saw her on TV saying the US was the greenest country in the world.

    So why the fines?/ Ridiculous.!!!! WE all do this in Canada and sell our produce as well. I sure do

    • http://Web Max Bin

      Yes this is a case of Your not allowed to do as your rulers do and if you try you will be fined or imprisoned

      • http://Web MagnanaMouse

        Seriously, are you brain damaged? Do as your rulers do? You are seriously deranged. Is this a case of the . . . derp . . .? That was like listening to a trauma victim say the clouds are fluffy like a knife fight. Utterly delusional ignoramus. Dude, it’s a case of rules put in place by democratically elected representatives of the citizens of Georgia. Said rule, broken. Simple as that. Why do you refuse to understand even slightly those pesky facts that were you to even moderately pay attention to reality, wouldn’t leave you looking like an idiot who didn’t read the book and whines to mommy that the teacher flunked him out of 4th grade? You lose at life, Max.

  • http://Web galen

    Tar and feather

  • http://Web Big Country

    Time to elect another clerk of courts, etc. That’s about ridiculous.

  • http://Web Max Penn

    Can’t drill for our own oil, have to buy our oil from middle east. Now can grow our food, have to buy it from Mexico. Is this what America has come too? VOTE DEMOCRAT = KILL AMERICA..

    • http://www.pierresoleil.com/ourblog Sunny Soleil

      Aha they’ve got you …Obama is a patsy to take the rap for all of this. It is not Obama, it is the elite behind him, the corporations like Monsanto [SoNotMan] and the big pharmaceuticals and agri business who don’t want us to be self sustainabl and organic. Why would they when people who grow their own veggies don’t purchase from big agri suppliers.They don’t want us to be healthy? Why would they when healthy people don’t buy pharmaceuticals. Get wise, you are falling into the trap. You think the Republicans are gonna suddenly start passing laws that, in effect, stop us from spending money with the big corporates..Nah! Time for a rebellion.. do our own thing with the focus on feeding ourselves healthy food and preventing disease as a starter!

      • http://Web ammaea

        can’t agree more!

    • http://Web Name Required

      Oh, okay….so THATs why part of the garden AT THE WHITE HOUSE is being used as a vegetable garden?

      …pinhead…. 8-(

    • http://Web MagnanaMouse

      This site is a breeding ground for freaking belltower shooters. Seriously, you’re all painfully uneducated, classically paranoid, and delusional. Vote Democrat = Kill America because Georgia Republicans are enforcing basic rules that keep society from slipping into anarchy? You’re one of the most insanely ignorant people I’ve seen embarrass himself here yet. PS, I have oil wells on my land. I can drill and pump at will. You know what? The oil’s too thick to be much good in the continental US. A lot cheaper and cleaner all around to import and to freakin’ boot, we’re trying to move away from oil if you hadn’t gotten the memo. God, I’m embarrassed *for* you.

  • http://Web nancy underwood

    I can not believe that growing too much food is against the law. Is this the sign of our times? Or is this a MisUse of power? I hope that the persons responsible for this don’t talk with their mouths full!!!! Was the land that the crops were on hurting someone? Whos land did it boarder on? And were they offended to have food on growing in that dirt? I just can’t imagine what type of person would have cause in fining a man who loves to garden in order for him to eat and feed others. IF that is against the law, put me in jail too! They should be ashamed of themselves! God gave is this land to farm in order for us to yield FOOD!
    HANG IN THERE MR., YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG!!!

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  • http://Web Meskarune

    The reason he may have been fined could have something to do with water use. Growing vegetables uses up more water than other people in the neighborhood. It could also be issues with run off like fertilizer or the garden could of attracted wildlife. If you are growing food, especially if you are selling to others, there are regulations you have to follow.

    • http://Web Max Bin

      No its not that at all. Its just one more step of the Gov to order you what to do. If the USA fails in the future the last thing they what is people knowing how to grow or get there own food or anything else that makes them self sufficant. What they do what is a large group of people that will turn to them since that group has no idea how to take care of itself.

      • http://Web MagnanaMouse

        Is this where all the paranoid schizophrenics go at night? This is the Government ordering us what to do? Dude, you have ZERO understanding of any of the issues involved here. It’s like you steped in with a mental condition and found something random to apply to it. Freakish. Your entire premise is like an application to Bellvue. Sorry, but seek help.

      • http://Web Rikerdude

        Water use? I doubled the size of my garden so I don’t have to worry the damned grass. I cannot imagine how much extra money I would spend on my water bill to make sure I had a perfect lawn. A previous owner of my house had the entire backyard as a garden. Meskarune, you’re saying a garden uses more water than a lawn-irrigation system? Think of the money I save on the grass I don’t have to mow.

        • http://Web Rikerdude

          Sorry about the typo.
          I meant to say, “Worry about the damned grass.”

    • http://Web Lance W.

      In as much as each household pays for it’s water usage, that’s pretty much a non-starter.
      As for the fertilizer issue, his produce is organic which means that there probably isn’t any chemical fertilizer while there may be organic based mulch or composted animal waste.
      This is simply a zoning issue as I read the story. Additionally he’s been doing this for quite some time and it is just recently that it was decided that he was in violation of zoning laws. Having applied for and received a variance, the issue should have been dropped.
      It hasn’t been and smacks of retributive prosecution.

      • http://Web Steve

        “Retributive prosecution” is certainly a pretty straightforward explanation for this brouhaha.

    • Gardenation

      Meskarune, you must be joking right? It’s people like you that stand up for these ridiculous rules instead of for people who are doing the right thing that is hurting our society. Grow a brain (if it’s not too expensive) and look at your thoughts and actions. WAKE UP.

      • http://Web MagnanaMouse

        Did you just tell the OP to grow a brain? Dude, please tell me you’re eleven, so I can excuse your childish demeanor. Please. Is Glenn Beck spreading paranoid schizophrenia through flashing pixels on his BUY GOLD!! show? Your understanding and grasp of how laws and the maintenance of society are linked is just sad. You can’t be a fully developed adult, and if you are, it freaks me out that we were raised in the same culture. What has happened? You think you are qualified to tell the OP to look at her thoughts and actions and wake up? Dude, you don’t even know which way is up to instruct her where to be looking. And *she* needs to wake up? Ignorant child, you need to grow up, study up, and step up. You’re screwing up the bell curve.

  • GOne

    I bet they fined him because he was selling the extra.

    Thank your local farmers for lobbying to have only “approved” farms be able to sell produce.

  • http://Web Mary

    I have found most code enforcers to be petty tyrants who look for people to bully. Just remember that Wichita’s BTK serial killer was a codes enforcer and that explains the type of person this poor man is dealing with. He has my best wishes.

  • http://Web terry

    Now the Tuscon shooting makes a lot more sense to me.

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ Obbop

    OBEY your ruling class masters you commoner scum

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

    And to growing food.

    That is the role of corporate America who needs to provide jobs to departing politicians and bureaucrats.

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

  • http://Web dan

    Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think this post quite captures the story in its entirety. I doubt the reason the town is fining him is “too many vegetables”.

    • http://Web jasper sneed

      Then what is the reason, Dan?

  • http://Web dan

    All this bitching and complaining about “the government”. Give me a break. The guy was running a small scale agricultural operation (that he was selling commercially) in a residential area and wasn’t zoned for agriculture…so he got fined. On top of that he had undocumented workers. oh boo hoo. The guy broke the rules. period.

    • http://Web jasper sneed

      What business is it of anyone what food a person grows on his own property, where he uses or sells it, or who he pays to help him? And what defines “small”, “agricultural” or “operation”?? If I grow tomatoes in my window box, pay my child’s afternoon babysitter to water them every day, and sell some of them at the local farmers market, does that constitute a “small scale agricultural operation”. Are you telling me I have to submit documentation on my babysitter and move to an “agricultural” zone to continue that “operation”? Where exactly is the threshold level of private property food growing enterprise that our all knowing powers-that-be have deemed unacceptable?
      You are a non-thinking statist, Dan, an embodiment of the very mentality that keeps this sort of insanity alive and well in our country.

    • http://Web Concerned

      Yeah with 2 acres I’m sure he was breaking the bank with that illegal commercial food growing operation….wtf?

    • http://Web Rob

      Hi Dan, you are the REAL loser if you think that the government is doing this to protect you. Where I come from, you can put a SWIMMING Pool in your back yard and not ask for a permission slip from BIG BROTHER. Also, I own my own house, and do not have PROPERTY TAX ONE CENT. SO, keep thinking you live in the “LAND OF THE FREE”
      5 5 5 5 5
      that is a hint…..sorry you are brain washed!

      • http://Web Tom Lake

        Rob: Where do you live? I’d move there in a second! Our area (Adirondack Park, NYS) tells us we can’t build anything on our own land, and even the color of our buildings has to be approved by the Adirondack Park Authority! No wonder New York State is becoming a ghost town.

  • http://Web Ohio Steve

    Hey Atlanta leaders,
    Last time I looked, you were still part of a free nation, where gardening does not require government permission. Don’t lay all that “zoning” crap on us, because growing food is a human right – It doesn’t matter at all about the details.

    I love Atlanta, so don’t get all Yankee’d up like the northern liberal idiots we have up here. It makes all that “southern hospitality” look like a joke.

    Fined for growing food – you just have to realize how stupid that sounds.

    Steve

    • http://Web kodster5

      So, is Atlanta going to fine the apartment dweller for growing food on their patios?

  • http://Web J D Crawford

    What appears to be wrong here is that after rezoning was accomplished by Mr. Miller the citations remain in force. By the letter of the law he has fines for when he was in violation. The spirit of the law should prevail, IMHO, and prior charges should be dismissed.

  • http://Web Gary Parker

    This is ridiculously stupid. Even if he’s using more water, so what? He’s paying for it. That’s the whole idea behind paying for services you use. Use more electricity than others around you? You pay more for it.

    If he can afford it, who cares? It isn’t anybody else’s business what he does on his own property.

    They should drop the fines and leave the guy alone. What a complete waste of limited government resources.

    • http://Web jasper sneed

      All excellent points. Yet at the same time, we must not make the mistake of conflating governmental enforcement of idiotic laws with governmental stewardship of its so called “resources”. Enforcement is what government does, and is frequently idiotic, while its resources are simply taxes, fees and fines…the money it derives from its citizens. Since by definition it is only government which claims the legitimate use of force — i.e., they have the guns — enforcement of law is limitless, subject only to the whims of legislators and the interests they serve. Government resources are limited, but only by the theoretical 100% taxation mark on private production. It is a foul paradigm, perfectly designed to facilitate abuses of power like this example at every governmental level, and make a mockery of the entire concept of “limited” government power.

  • http://Web Fatigued

    Our holidays are ruined. No one even goes out for New Year anymore. The ability to do what you want on your own land has been curtailed. It’s okay for police to sneak into your driveway and plant gps devices on your car. Your right to buy guns is slowly and relentlessly being taken away. It’s difficult to buy anything with cash anymore. We are taxed, fined, fee’d and nagged into submission. Weez just sharecroppers now boys, just shut-up and push dem broom.

    • http://Web bob

      can’t even talk freely anymore. My comment wasn’t posted.

      • http://community.importantmedia.org/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

        Sorry about the delay in approving comments, Bob. I’m the only mod and was spending some Sunday time with my family. :)

  • http://Web Angry Voter

    The government has become the enforcer for big business and should be treated as such.

  • http://Web Mauiman

    Max Penn,
    it’s not just the Dem’s killing America. Both parties are doing an equally fine job. Congress has allowed the outsourcing of jobs to Mexico,China etc for decades. They have allowed large multi-national corporations to literally write legislation, staff the Federal Reserve, staff the FDA and AG dept’s. It’s a total sell out of the country to the highest bidder by our so called leaders. Both parties are identical. It’s like a monster with two heads. Don’t matter which head you vote for….same monster. We have become a fascist country. America is now Amerika.

    • http://fubarandgrill.org mymarkx

      Thanks for some sanity, Mauiman.

    • http://Web Matt

      I’m sorry, but Congress did not “allow” outsourcing of jobs so much as essentially force them. Worthless laws that don’t actually have any benefit, like minimum wage, have forced companies to outsource to keep their costs down. Every time minimum wage goes up, expect all your living expenses to go up to cover that cost (defeating to purpose of minimum wage). Even worse, those who are paid above minimum wage are paid relatively less, and so they get hurt too. Federal minimum wage is now $7.25. There are also many jobs out there that, frankly, are not worth that much. But by forcing companies to pay higher wages than a job is worth, it devalues the dollar.

      If you want politicians to be less greedy, than support limited government. Money follows power, and corruption/greed follows money, so stop corruption and greed by minimizing the power the government has.

      • http://Web Sean

        I couldn’t agree more. 7.25 an hour is WAAAAY too much too pay someone. After all why pay them 7.25 when I could pay them 3.00 per hour? Thats all people are worth. That way I can keep people as slaves while I make sure I make millions per year.

        Get a fucking grip moron minimize the death grip corporate america has on us. Its not government its idiots like you voting against our best interests.

        Government isn’t evil. Corporations Are.

        • http://Web Sean

          Try making a living off 7.25 cents an hour dickhead

        • http://Web kodster5

          Sean, in essence, Matt is correct… the line of thought is correct. Big Government is to blame for all the regulations that choke businesses, to force them overseas… it’s a chain effect, much like if you take something out of a biodiversity environment, you affect the entire chain, so eventually, it collapses. People don’t like wolves, so they wanted them eliminated out of Montana, Wyoming, etc, because it affected their hunting abilities… people couldn’t hunt the wild game, because the wolves kept the population down. Well, when the wolves were removed, either by killing them, or completely relocating them, the wild game proliferated so much that they ate the new growth of trees that it denuded them! Therefore, the trees could not reproduce themselves. And the entire area became affected… the chain effect of removal of the wolves affected the whole biodiversity of the region!

      • http://Web G

        I have traveled extensively. I just went to Mexico for the first time, for more than 2 days. Mexico has no minimum wage law. The waiters wage was equivalent to 5 USD a day. An individual will always be at a disadvantage compared to an organization in wage negotiations, because of information asymmetry, negotiation ability, and ability to wait.

    • http://Web Cody

      I don’t get it- “K”s are fascist? Do you know what fascist means? Fascism is a far-RIGHT leaning political philosophy. To call a Liberal government fascist is not only unhelpful, but rather uninformed. Unless you use an extra “K”- then it’s alright.

      • http://Web Chris

        Fascism evolved from the German Socialist Party, and incorporates some aspects of both far right and far left. It is not strictly speaking far-RIGHT. People who break things down into left and right do no justice to the political spectrum as it would be more accurately measured on a 2 or 3 axis field then a simple left or right 1 axis measurement

  • http://fubarandgrill.org mymarkx

    Reading the comments here is confusing.

    The right is against government takeover and government tyranny, so they want the laws strictly enforced, no matter how absurd they may be.

    And they get angry when the left tries to explain that having more laws, more strictly enforced, is not the way to oppose government tyranny.

    Days like this I’m reminded of the old Quaker joke, “Everyone’s insane except for me and thee, and I’m not so sure about thee.”

  • http://www.growingyourownveg.com Growing Vegetables

    As someone living in th UK I am always amazed at how petty and almost tyranical some of the laws and their enforcement is in “the land of the Free”

    • http://Web Chris

      Uhh, have you ever looked at some of your laws? And some of the things that people there get arrested for?? Ours may not be perfect, but it is still better than that rat hole. Or are you just upset you missed the boat?

    • http://Web Jerree

      Really? The UK is the ultimate nanny state. From alcohol regulations to closed circuit surveillance, the UK is a leap ahead of the US when it comes to government intervention in everyday situations.

    • http://Web nedmorlef

      I agree. the “nation of laws” can be as oppressive as any dictatorship. Our gov’t has been filled with evil hearts with evil intents for a long time. we claim evolution but, we degenerate daily.

    • http://Web Mark

      Growing Vegetables, what happens if someone comes to steal your vegetables in the UK, or rape your daughter? You have to stand and watch it happen, then report to the police. Ha ha ha ha ha. You can’t even defend yourself unless you want to be charged with a crime.

  • http://Web Not Growing Vegetables

    @Growing Vegetables: Hello pot, meet Mr. Kettle. As someone living in the US, I am always amazed at how ridiculous the laws in The Nanny State are. Google “Jo Yeates Bristol”. An MP wants to have EVERY MALE in Bristol DNA tested in order to solve a murder case. Yeah… that’s not tyrannical at all, right?

  • http://Web Justin Case

    This is asinine, as most governmental enforcement is. As long as it is YOUR land that you purchased LEGALLY with YOUR MONEY, and you are NOT doing anything ILLEGAL, you should be able to do ANYTHING YOU F’N WANT ON THAT LAND, and TO HELL with what anybody else thinks!!!

    • http://Web lg

      if you really think you “own” the land then try not paying your taxes on that land…then you’ll find out who REALLY owns the land…

  • http://Web Ground Grubber

    A recent survey by a newspaper here in New Zealand reported the 60% of households over here maintain some sort of vegetable garden.
    In my cynicism I immediately thought “Cue Monsanto, Dupont et al.”
    This story is about corporate machinations in the area of public policy. A trend that is not limited to the US but is shown in the recent wikipaedia leaks on US retribution against EU states resisting Monsanto GMO introduction in Europe.

  • http://Web Motes

    And this while Atlanta shuts down firehouses and cop-shops to save money…yeah they NEED the $5k. COUGH IT UP SCOFFLAW!

  • http://Web Code Officer

    As a code officer, he either had a complaint lodged or perhaps a city employee (maybe a code officer) may have run across him outside of work and caught wind of his garden. If he was in our town, we would have only gone after him if he was using it as a business and didn’t have the c.o. or paperwork done for it. If he wasn’t zoned, we would have cited him and given him the chance to apply for a zoning change or obtain a special use permit. If that was achieved, then we would have most likely let the fines go to the side if he wasn’t a jerk about the process…sometimes that will work against you, lol. This is too much, if he went and made it right you don’t need to fight him for the other stuff. I know many think that if it’s on your land, it’s your business…I agree to a point. City ordinances are there many times for a reason, probably for stuff that you wouldn’t dream someone would do. I see it every day. You would rather have some rules than none, believe me. However, if you don’t like it, move out of the city, my parents did.

    • http://Web BigMikeinNH

      You actually think it’s funny that you are willing to use your pretended authority to make things more difficult for someone? What the hell kind of person are you?

  • http://Web Nota

    They should Shut down ALL private vegetable gardens. Citizens can not be trusted to grow their own food. This is dangerous. Jut Go to Wall-Mart for cryin’ out loud. Stop endangering everyone with your gardens.

  • http://Web Bill Rice

    What a stupid use of government time and resorces! Big brother run amoke.
    I thought the South was better than this. Glad I don’t live in Georga!

    • http://Web independant thinker

      From what I understand there are two Georgias, Atlanta then the rest of the state.

      • http://importantmedia.org/members/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

        It sometimes feels that way!

  • jeremy

    Yeah ! Crack down on those pesky backyard farmers ! Who is he to de value someones poorly constructed McMansion with his silly food !

  • jeremy

    I mean , we encouraged gardens during World War. 2 , it would solve a lot of hunger issues

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  • http://Web Shagnassy

    What about Michelles garden that was made such a woop-t-doo over? It’s not like she’s the first person in the WH to have a garden out back. It’s been there since the WH was built. Does that mean she will be fined for growing her own veggies? What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander. I feel I have every right to grow a garden in my backyard if I so choose (and I do) and not have to buy seeds from some chemical company to do so. People on fixed incomes aren’t abel to afford that stuff ( EVEN AT WALMART) it has gotten so high priced I don’t know how they sell any of it in the stores.

  • http://Web WePeople

    People are accustomed for govts taking away their freedoms “for a better good”. better good of who? If you think that this is bs you should watch freedomainradio for more issues.

  • http://Web Mark Thompson

    Code enforcement for a garden? Sounds to me the nanny government is in full force.

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  • http://Web rickmick

    We the government can’t poison you if you grow your own food.

  • http://Web isaac

    sic semper tyrannis

  • http://Web Hope Henry

    We are being warned that there are food shortages worldwide and now our government is not allowing us to grow our own and as much as we want or might need in order to help others when the final crunch comes? This shows what “progressives” stand for…total control of everyone’s lives, food source, and income…

  • http://Web Eddie

    http://clatl.com/atlanta/steve-miller-clarkston-ga/Content?oid=1275993

    Creating Loafing article on Steve Miller in 2008. Be careful when you do interviews about your personal “hobbies”.

  • http://Web Carl Brutananadilewski

    Some people call him Maurice.

  • http://Web RolloJones

    I remember reading something about this when I was looking to buy a home in the Atlanta area. From what I understand, it had something to do with the smell from the massive amounts of compost that he was using.

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  • http://Web John

    may as well grow pot if your going to get busted at least get rich doing it LOL. What next. are we going to have to hide our roses too.

  • http://Web RubenBlackCloud

    This sounds alot like that H.R. 875 food safety modernization act of 2009 where the government is going ahead with preventing the general public from growing your own food. Of course, the government is just the front man. The big food companies are pushing for this.

  • http://Web Hebrew Ben Yisrael

    America is doomed to HELL! The Farmer, small or big, is the backbone of this country!

  • http://Web Quinn

    Part of the Globalists depopulation plan for the US. They figure they can’t disarm us into submission like those of the middle east and Europe, so they will starve us into submission. Why do you think they are flooding millions of acres of farm land in the south with the Mississippi flood? If people grow their own food they won’t depend on the globalists and so the globalists won’t be in complete and total control, that’s why people are getting arrested for growing their gardens and enough to feed other people. If the dumb ass police and military would look into the real threats to America instead of the imaginary ones mainstream media and the CIA like to display on a nightly basis, America might be saved, but since the cops and military are subject and ruled by these evil entities they won’t budge or do their duty to save this country.

  • http://Web Marie Oliver

    Government: for the people, by the people?

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