By: Amanda Froelich,
It’s gotten to the point that having a trimmed, suburban yard is more important than investing in functional, sustainable living methods. For Hermine Rickets and husband, Tom Carroll, whom live in Miami, Florida, it was a shocking fine that presented this fact.
For the past 17 years, the couple has been growing a garden in their front yard of their modest South Florida home. Their backyard, they say, doesn’t get enough sunlight.
But in May, the harmless act of growing food on one’s property became tied up in legal crosshairs, affecting other resident gardeners, as well.
A new zoning ordinance designed to ‘protect the distinctive character of the Miami Shores Village,’ was enacted and specifically prohibited vegetables – no fruit, trees, or even plastic flamingos – from appearing in front yards.
Shortly after the ordinance, Hermine and Tom received a visit from their local code enforcement officer. They were given two choices: Uproot the garden, or pay a $50 fine per day to keep it.
After appearing twice before the Miami Shores Code Enforcement Board and being denied an exemption, the couple decided to dig up their garden rather than pay the ridiculous fine of $1,500 per month to the city.
The bewildering ordinance is just one of many to pop up in Florida. In Orlando, Jason and Jennifer Helvenston were being fined $500 a day for having a lush garden in their front yard.
If it is illegal to grow one’s own food, what will be next? Many would argue that the sowing and reaping harvest from the Earth is a basic right… What are your thoughts?