Burmese Vegetable Gardens - a nuisance? Updated with video

As a little bit of back story, for those of you who may not be aware, Fort Wayne is housing several groups of Burmese refugees. It has been an issue at times as we both learn each other's customs, but it has been a very good thing for us as a city. I thought.

On the afternoon of October 12th, I came home to find that the garden (mostly in my back yard and with a small part in an apartment complex yard) that had been there all summer had been demolished, as well as several others, including one larger than the one mostly on my property. I have made several phone calls today to find out what happened.
XXXXXXXX (redacted) Apartments houses a lot of Burmese refugees and that is where some of this begins. We have a neighbor named Akai(sp?) that lives in those apartments and built a fabulous garden over the summer. Since he is feeding so many from it, we told him, mostly through gesture, that he could spread out onto our yard.
Several calls into today, I have discovered that someone complained that the gardens were a nuisance to Councilman Hines. This resulted in Neighborhood Code sending many notices resulting in the demolition of all of these gardens. None of these notices came to our house, even though the garden was clearly on our property more than that of the apartment. As far as I can determine, it has been put down to obstruction of the drainage ditch that hasn't been maintained in the 8 years that I have lived there, as well as the possibility that should an emergency occur, they wouldn't be able to exit the premises. I know this last one didn't have anything to do with, at the very least, the garden (mostly) on my property. I have since found out that Apartment complexes aren’t zoned for gardening, so it was also an Agricultural Nuisance.
I am concerned that a phone call to a councilman culminated in the destruction of so many of the gardens in XXXXXXXX (redacted) Apartments. There were several and all have been taken down, some with skid loaders. I am also concerned that this apartment complex in particular is being harassed about gardens when I have personally seen multiple apartment complexes with gardens that have no problems with neighborhood code at all.
These weren't really just everyday gardens. They were quite amazing, created from fallen limbs off of trees. They had a kind of cross between a hallway and tunnel that you could go through to get all of the vegetables hanging down, these having never touched the ground. It was fenced in to keep critters out, with the fencing also created from fallen limbs. If anyone in the Green movement had seen it, it probably would have been touted as a wonderful way to recycle fallen limbs as well as creating a large garden area on a small area of land. I really wish I had before pictures to post, but I didn't think about it and I didn't want to offend by taking pictures of what I'm sure they think of as just a garden. I do have some video footage of the after, but I will have to link to that later, as I haven’t gotten it pulled off of my husband’s phone yet. *Updated*
I am so very disturbed and saddened that this has happened. It wasn't necessary and it was a huge waste of several people's time and hard work.

I redacted the name of the apartment complex to prevent furthur incedents.


- Jim Mohr - said...

You are amazed at this and you have worked for the Government for how long?

One Reader said...

I am mostly amazed that no one seems to care because, "Oh, it's just the Burmese."