Only In Florida Do You Have To Fight To Plant A Garden

Only In Florida Do You Have To Fight To Plant A Garden

Food Freedom Now

“Food Freedom Now!” It is now legal to grow your own food in your yard within the City of Orlando.

Times are tough and many suburbanites are putting in gardens to augment their budgets and provide healthy vegetable’s for their table. Mayor Buddy Dyer, on the Orlando City website, urges citizen to plant gardens for their “Green Works Initiative”. Even first lady Michelle Obama is urging Americans to put in gardens. However, it seems that the members of the Orlando’s Municipal Planning Board did not get the message.

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston, the College Park residents dug up their front yard last year and planted radishes, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, broccoli and other veggies.

The owner of the house next door called the city, which led to a code-enforcement complaint and a demand that the Helvenston’s remove the garden and restore their yard. Orlando’s city council declared the garden in non-compliance with city code.

Food Freedom Now

The Helvenston’s stood their ground and decided to fight for their rights and to protect their right to grow vegetables in their front yard.

The College Park residents drew national attention and wide spread support, not just in Florida but all over the U.S., for their garden. Dozens of garden lovers filled city meeting rooms to support the Helvenston’s. Some carried protest signs outside City Hall with messages such as “Food Freedom Now!”

And guess what, they won! Orlando’s city council lost their fight. City lawyers decided to drop the code-enforcement case because Orlando’s zoning rules were too vague on gardens to prove the Helvenston’s had done anything wrong.

But beware; City Planners are back at work planning changes to the code that would specifically allow front-yard gardens but only if certain restrictions were met.

Those new restrictions would allow use up to 60% of a home owner’s front yard to be used as a garden but they would need to leave 3 feet of lawn between the sidewalk and the edge of their garden. On top of that there may be restrictions on how tall plants can be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *