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The Gary Department of Environmental Affairs gave Aja Yasir a citation for her nontraditional yard. She has wood chips instead of lawn and was told that her wood chips are debris and that the chips attract bugs and fungi; therefore they are being deemed a health hazard.

I befriended Aja after touring her garden on a Farm Hop, sponsored by the Northwest Indiana Food Council. Her unique garden grows both food crops and ornamentals and was very attractive. Her garden was selected for inclusion not only for its beauty but also because of the regenerative agriculture techniques she uses. By adding more chips, the soil gets better every year and therefore, her yields get better too. Without tilling. Without adding chemical fertilizers. Requiring far less watering due to the chips holding moisture far better than bare ground or turf grass. All of these things are very beneficial for the environment and especially the watershed health.

Please sign and share to help let local decision makers know you stand with Aja and others who want to use these methods to improve their soil and the environment.


There will be a seed swap at Aja’s house on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd, which is also the day of her trial. After the seed swap and brief tour of her garden, supporters will march with her to the Gary courthouse at 555 Polk Street.

Aja is selling her Notorious F.I.G. (Farmer in Gary) t-shirts for $30 + shipping. Available for pickup day of the trial if pre-paid (and no shipping costs.) Buy one to wear and show your support.  Proceeds on sales through April 22, 2019 to benefit Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education in Miller Beach. Email orders (include size, pick up method, address if shipping is required) and send pre-payment to Aja via PayPal using simplebeautyn@gmail.com.

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