The Dangers of Environmental Friendliness
I haven’t published any of my rants on Highly Uncivilized up until now. Unfortunately, the following story relates so closely to my previous post on eating roses that I could not resist.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at this situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Denise Morrison filled her yard with edible and medicinal plants only to have them ripped up by code enforcement officials. It’s a situation that absolutely outrages me.
Everyday we hear about the virtues behind protecting our environment, conserving resources, and going green. Here is someone that has done precisely that only to be punished. From every perspective she is trying to preserve resources while endeavoring to be independent and self-sufficient. She planted food, herbs, and medicine in her front yard to feed herself and heal herself. Am I wrong in thinking that what she attempted to do was the embodiment of the American dream? Why would Tulsa Code Enforcement try to oppose that?
Because her neighbor didn’t like the looks of it.
At the end of the day that’s the problem: the results of a genuinely environmentally friendly lifestyle aren’t always appealing in the eyes of others. Being environmentally friendly is more than just a freshly waxed Toyota Prius parked in the driveway; it’s more than buying CFL light bulbs and trendy reusable shopping bags. Being environmentally friendly means taking steps to ensure that the resources you have are utilized to their fullest extent. Being unemployed, Denise Morrison’s only resource was her home, more specifically her yard.
Admittedly, a yard that is maximizing its potential may look wild to the untrained eye, but is that justification to destroy it? Some families may not have the thousands of dollars it takes to make a yard look “respectable” but if they have so much as a single seed isn’t the world better off if they plant it? In my opinion, they should; even the smallest step in the right direction is a benefit to our world.
I implore those of you that live in Tulsa and the surrounding area to speak out against this. Even if you don’t live in Tulsa, please consider investigating your own city’s codes to make sure they’re in line with actions that will ultimately build a better planet, just as Denise Morrison tried to do.
John Goforth is our very angry friend from the east coast who has been involved in agriculture most of his life. He is the son of David Goforth (M.S. in Horticulture and Cabarrus County’s agricultural extension agent) and grew up on the family farm in Rockwell, NC. At age 13, with his father and brother, he started selling produce at the Piedmont Farmer’s Market which eventually evolved into Goforth’s Garden. Today, they raise peaches, blueberries, and an assortment of other fruits and vegetables to be sold at local markets and through their CSA. John’s other interest include writing, whittling, and woodworking.