Free DeChristopher

A nice spot for tomatoes?

A nice spot for tomatoes?

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

It was a favorite short story from Auntie Ruth’s youth, and durn if she can remember title or author: A farm boy moves with his family to a big city. There, he makes a friend, whose help he enlists in planting a garden on an urban roof. The farm boy feels closer to his country upbringing. Later, the landlord finds the garden—the roof had been sagging—and removes it. You feel the farm boy’s pain, viscerally; he flees, leaving his urban friend to wonder about nature, life in the country, growing up. Heckuva tale.

Truth can be kinder than fiction, posts Grist: “Rooftop gardens and ‘living roofs’ are the rage, especially in foodie-hip Brooklyn. … Their aesthetic and conceptual efficiency make them appealing vehicles for promoting the growing of food in urban environments … clean, beautiful, with views, and atop the very thing that makes a city a city—big buildings with flat roofs.”

Know ye any such efforts in Sacramento? Post it on Ruth’s Facebook page; let’s see if we can cultivate more.

Meanwhile, Tim DeChristopher—Bidder 70—has had his federal trial delayed yet again until September. In a letter supporting DeChristopher—signed by Dr. James Hansen, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Robert Redford and Terry Tempest Williams—a plea: “[DeChristopher] pulled off one of the most creative protests against our runaway energy policy in years: He bid for the oil and gas leases on several parcels of federal land even though he had no money to pay for them, thus upending the auction.”

According to a link on, “The auction [of oil and gas leases] was disrupted so effectively that no one knew what to do for a while, and the leases remained in suspension. Later, a judge ruled that the process had been corrupt all along (courtesy of the outgoing Bush administration) and shortly thereafter, [U.S. Interior] Secretary [Ken] Salazar formally nullified the whole process, erasing the auction results completely.” His act resulted in the protection of many acres of Utah’s red rock desert surrounding many national parks.

The letter from Hansen, Klein, Redford, et al., concludes: “The government calls [DeChristopher’s actions] ‘violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act’ and thinks he should spend ten years in jail for the crime; we call it a noble act, a profound gesture made on behalf of all of us and of the future.” More from Yer Auntie as the story unfolds.