Cabbage-Gate: Punish the Productive — Georgia County Sues Local Farmer for Growing Too Many Vegetables on His Land (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on September 14, 2010
File this one under “government nanny-state idiocy.”
Despite record unemployment, record federal deficit, record lost jobs, record number of food stamps issued, record number of small American businesses doing belly up, and who knows how many other dismal economic records have been broken during this “era of no hopenchange,” local governments still see fit to punish those who produce too much.
A local farmer hobbyist in DeKalb County, Georgia, who sells or gives away the various organic vegetables he grows for fun on his land, as he has for 15 years, is now being sued by the government.
His crime is growing too many crops for the property’s zoning in Clarkston, GA. He stopped growing crops this summer and worked to change the property zoning, which was successful. But, the government has decided to sue him anyway, retroactively — Steve Miller faces up to $5,000 in fines for growing his vegetables.
Miller is not an illegal alien, isn’t growing anything illegal, isn’t asking for government hand-outs or bail-outs, works with his own hands and skills on his own land to provide food for himself and others… so yeah, punishing the productive is the bullying government’s narrow path of action.
His neighbors are appalled and have rallied in his defense, and are calling this intimidation by the government “Cabbage-Gate.”
From WSB Atlanta News, County Sues Farmer, Cites Too Many Crops:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County is suing a local farmer for growing too many vegetables, but he said he will fight the charges in the ongoing battle neighbors call “Cabbagegate.”
Fig trees, broccoli and cabbages are among the many greens that line the soil on Steve Miller’s more than two acres in Clarkston, who said he has spent fifteen years growing crops to give away and sell at local farmers markets.
“It’s a way of life, like it’s something in my blood,” said Miller.
In January, Dekalb County code enforcement officers began ticketing him for growing too many crops for the zoning and having unpermitted employees on site.
Miller stopped growing vegetables this summer and the charges were put on hold as he got the property rezoned.
Two weeks after approval, however, his attorney said the county began prosecuting the old charges, saying he was technically in violation before the rezoning.
“It should go away. I think it borders on harassment,” said Miller’s attorney Doug Dillard.
Miller faces nearly $5,000 in fines, but he said he plans to fight those citations in recorders court later this month.
A county spokesperson said officials can’t discuss the matter while it is in court, but neighbors were quick to come to his defense.
“When he moved here and I found out what he was doing I said, ‘Steve, you’re the best thing that ever happened to Cimarron Drive. And I still say that,” said neighbor Britt Fayssoux.
UPDATE: Found the news video.
Cabbagegate – Georgia man fined over growing too many vegetables in his garden | September 2010
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