BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
CENTERVILLE — Despite rumors floating around on Facebook, Centerville City has never attempted to mandate what kind of corn their residents can and cannot plant.
A disagreement between residents over the type of corn planted in the city’s community garden is the source of the rumor, which claims that the city sent a representative to order him to remove a type of corn from a private patio garden. According to Centerville City Assistant Manager Blaine Lutz, however, city officials and staff didn’t even know about the incident until angry calls started pouring in Monday morning.
“There are no laws and ordinances about what type of vegetables you can plant,” said Lutz. “And that there was a letter sent out is just completely wrong. We had nothing to do with this.”
Ted Gashler, the Centerville resident who planted the corn in question, said that the matter started when he planted a different variety of corn than the one agreed upon by the other gardeners who have plots in the community garden. Both Lutz and Gashler said that the gardeners attempt to plant the same type to avoid cross-pollination between the different species.
“They didn’t like the seed I had planted in the garden,” said Gashler. “It was no big deal.”
According to Gashler, the request to rip up the corn was made by a volunteer in charge of the garden, and sent to him in an e-mail. The corn agreed upon by the other gardeners was Serendipity Triplesweet Hybrid Corn, which was created by the agricultural company Sygenta. Initial claims that Monsanto corn was involved were false.
Though Gashler said that they initially wanted him to remove the corn he had planted, garden organizers are now allowing him to keep the corn.