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B.C. urban homeowner fined $5,200 for growing cucumbers, plans suit

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Len Gratto on his property in Mission. Len Gratto is ready to join an “imminent class action” law suit against Mission, for hitting him with a 5,200 grow op inspection fee. The 67 year old says he and his wife were growing cucumbers in the basement, he never grew pot, and he and many other Mission residents are being unfairly searched and fined.
Photograph by Les Bazso, PNG

Citizens planning class-action suit over municipal grow-op inspections

By Sam Cooper,
Postmedia News
January 10, 2011

Excerpt:

VANCOUVER — Len Gratto says there’s no way he is paying a $5,200 fine to Mission, B.C., for growing cucumbers in his basement.

Gratto — who has lived in the home for 30 years — says he’s raring to join an imminent class-action lawsuit attacking the municipality’s grow-op bylaw inspections. A number of citizens, led by Stacy Gowanlock, allege their homes were illegally searched for marijuana grow-ops resulting in them being slapped with fees and repair orders costing upward of $10,000 — all on questionable evidence.

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January 10, 2011   4 Comments

Photos – A Year At Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

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My year-long photo documentary of Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s Rooftop Farm

By Scott Nyerges
2010

In a far-flung city, in a dispersed digital age, locally based agriculture and neighborhood gardens provide a tangible sense of community and a connection to the land. This project documents the passing seasons at one such community: Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Scott’s photo slideshows document the roof garden from August, 2009 to December 15, 2010

See them here.

January 10, 2011   Comments Off on Photos – A Year At Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

Forget Urban Farms. We Need a Wal-Mart

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Wal-Mart is the store that everyone loves to hate

By Richard C. Longworth
Good Food
January 7, 2011
Richard C. Longworth is a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism.

Excerpt:

Residents of Detroit are digging up vacant lots in their emptying city and turning them into urban farms. These little plots are an important source for produce for Detroiters for one big reason: there aren’t many other sources.

Detroit lost its last chain grocery store three years ago when the last two Farmer Jack’s groceries closed. This seems incredible—a city of nearly 1 million people without a supermarket—but it’s true. No A&P. No Meijer’s. Not even a Wal-Mart. Any Detroiters who want fresh store-bought fruits and vegetables or wrapped meats have to get in their car and drive to the suburbs. That is, if they have a car.

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January 10, 2011   2 Comments