Orlando wants to fine homeowners for gardening

January 7th, 2013

More true tales of government run amok.

As a proponent of gardening, gardening in your yard, and yes, even in your front yard I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog how I think front yard farming is the thing to do. I won’t write long on the topic yet again, but rather merely summarize. Lawns use a lot of water, lawns use a lot of fertilizer, lawns produce no edible food, and you have to mow your lawn. A garden, on the other hand, uses less water, less fertilizer, give honey bees something to eat, and it gives us something to eat too.

But cities run by big government bureaucrats nationwide have idiotic ordinances requiring you to plant a lawn. The silly thing is these stooges would profess to care about the environment and all the rest, ask them if we should do something about global warming (erm climate change, right?) they’d say yes. Ask if carbon footprints are bad they’d say yes. They probably drive priuses and have no qualms promoting their municipal recycling programs – and yet they’ll be lawn nazis. These are the types of people I like to avoid in real life, people who don’t bother learning the science or facts of anything and instead just blindly join causes or ideals and are too dense to realize two of their “beliefs” are at odds with each other.

This happened in 2011 in Detroit as I blogged about here. Now it is happening in Orlando (and it has surely happened all over the country).

From the Daily Caller (worth the read), a couple that own a sustainability consulting business planted a garden in their front yard. They use it to educate their neighbors, the public, kids, etc on sustainability. Everyone nearby loves it, except the city, which has threatened a $500 a day fine.

I learned of the link via The Institute for Justice, who are pretty much my favorite people. They’re a public interest law firm that champions the rights of the little guy over government run amok. People like food truck owners, street vendors, scores and scores of small businesses, immigrants trying to make it, or just private citizens trying to do good things (like gardening perhaps) and running afoul of the law. They took the famous Kelo vs. New London case to the Supreme Court, and lost (in the worst decision in decades in my opinion) the battle, but won the war, when people nationwide were so outraged that I think 49 states passed constitutional amendments making the practice the Supreme Court okayed illegal. I don’t know if they plan to get involved in this case, but I hope the couple involved gets good free legal help from someone like IJ who will kick some butt for the right to garden your own land.

In this case the couple, Jason and Jennifer Helvenston, have started an awareness campaign and ask this:

We are asking residents in Orlando and across the country to join our campaign to “Plant a Seed, Change a Law.” E-mail patriotgarden@gmail.com, and we will send you a free packet of seeds and a small sign for your front yard that says “Patriot Garden.” Then send us a picture of your front-yard Patriot Garden. Help us tell the City of Orlando and local governments everywhere: Hands off our food!

They also have a website about the issue, visit Patriot-Gardens.com.

Say it with me now “Gardening is not a crime.” Though perhaps I should thank the idiotic government in Orlando for giving me something to blog about when my garden is covered in snow.

7 Responses to “Orlando wants to fine homeowners for gardening”

  1. Sarah  Says:

    70 years from Victory Gardens to Orlando’s outlaw.

  2. The Great American Fruit Tree Campaign  Says:

    I love that everywhere I go, people are spreading the word about this. I also wrote about them. This nonsense has just got to stop. The only way it will is if we all get up the noses of those in power and make life really difficult.

  3. Karen Rychorcewicz  Says:

    I am torn between a “nice looking neighborhood” and the logic that goes into making all land available to garden – is gardenable a word? I so totally support anyone who wants to use their land to garden – front or back yard. But in the same way we have to accept anyone who wants to make their front yard blacktop, or all weeds, or stupid looking lawn accessories…I’m all for the garden idea but then we have to allow for yards that would definitely not be “new home buyer” friendly…I wouldn’t want to buy a yard next to someone who let their yard look like a red-neck’s yard – frig on the porch, beer cans tossed anywhere – the same thing applies here. Sorry to be a wet blanket – just keep your garden in the back – You could get away with some low growing plants in the front like pumpkins, squash, cukes, etc….

  4. Susan  Says:

    I like the idea of front yard farming. Grow food not lawns! There are so many beautiful veggie and fruit plants that as long as the plants are maintained I would think it should not be an issue!

  5. Joe Farinaccio  Says:

    You are so right about government run amok. It’s absolutely outrageous what Orlando city officials are doing to this couple. Sadly, we don’t really own our own properties anymore … we merely rent them via mandated property taxes. Anyone who wants to garden, especially in their front yard, should check with the local overlords to find out what is and isn’t acceptable. One way to get around such things may be portable garden boxes, as taught by gardening author Mel Bartholomew.

  6. JohnFLob  Says:

    Too many HOA’s, city councils, county commissions, state and federal agencies are governmental dry rot.
    Appearances more important than content.

    We need to reassert our rights to stop these Crooks and Nannies from prying into every nook and cranny.

  7. Nashville Landscaper Dalton Quigley  Says:

    I bet this type of a decision happens because of the NGO’s that advise local city committees on sustainability. They don’t want us growing our own food. You are right we need to use our political process to beat these stupid ideas. Everyone should have the right to grow any food plant in their landscapes. Burns me up.

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