Can the government prohibit you from peacefully and productively using your own property to feed your family? The city of Miami Shores, Fla., says yes—as do many other cities across the nation.
If your city prohibits vegetable gardens on your property, report it to us today.
For 17 years, Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll used their front yard to grow food for their own personal consumption. But in May 2013, Miami Shores Village, Fla. amended its ordinance to make clear that front-yard vegetable gardens were prohibited. The village’s code enforcement department threatened them with fines of $50 per day if they did not destroy their beautiful garden. Unable to bear the cost of such hefty fines, Hermine and Tom had no option but to surrender to the government’s demands and uproot the garden.
In November, Hermine and Tom joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Miami Shores’ senseless front-yard vegetable garden ban.
This isn’t the first time IJ has teamed up with front-yard vegetable gardeners to vindicate the right of all Americans to peacefully use their own property to support their own families.
Jason and Jennifer Helvenston of Orlando, Fla., were threatened with fines of $500 a day if they refused to uproot their beautiful front yard vegetable garden and replace it with lawn. Their fight started a nationwide movement in support of property rights and the right to grow your own food on your own property. Check out their website here: Patriot Gardens.
IJ teamed up with the Helvenstons to launch the “Patriot Gardens: Plant a Seed, Change the Law” campaign. Over 1,000 activists from across the country requested seeds and a small yard sign with the campaign slogan from IJ, and planted their own front-yard vegetable gardens in solidarity with the Helvenstons.
Because of the Helvenstons’ advocacy, coalition building and media attention, the city ultimately passed a law that allows for Orlando residents to grow vegetables in their front yards and use their property in a peaceful way as they see fit—a huge victory for property rights.
We want to help you vindicate your right to use your property in a peaceful way to support your family. If your city has a ban on front-yard vegetable gardens, please contact us. We’re here to help.
“The Battlefront in the Front Yard,” New York Times
“Legalize sustainability: Join us in our fight for food freedom,” The Daily Caller
Pure manure: City uproots FL couple’s 17-year-old garden; Florida Watchdog
Life, liberty and the pursuit of vegetables; Miami Herald