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Wednesday May 24, 2017
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Crop Crackdown

 

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produce they hadn't grown themselves.

A burly man with a corner stall near the market's south end, Heim is known for his brown-bag signs that sometimes misspell names of the vegetables he sells. According to Notarianni's letter, inspector Matt Demmon asked to see Heim's carrot plantings during a routine inspection in mid-August. Heim allegedly told Demmon that because his carrot crop had failed early in the season, he planted a new one at his cousin's farm. But Heim refused to give Demmon his cousin's address, and eventually refused outright to let Demmon inspect the other farm. That was grounds for expulsion under market rules. (Heim did not respond to a letter and several phone calls from the Observer, but Jeff Straw, who oversees the market as deputy manager of Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation, says Heim has appealed the expulsion.)

Demmon's September inspection of Fusilier Farms raised questions about whether the family was growing all the radishes and green onions it sold at the market. But the big issue was peaches and cherries-neither fruit is grown on the farm near Manchester. The Fusiliers told Demmon they got the fruit from farms they leased in northern Michigan. Notarianni asked for documentation-and ordered them to discontinue sales in the meantime.

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