It’s coming around to garden-planting time in the South, and even though we have a few more months of cooler temperatures, folks are in the planning stages. Most vegetable gardens are plotted in the rear of homes, with flower gardens planted most anywhere.
It is very odd to see vegetable gardens in the front yard, although you will sometimes find them there. Now, a Florida couple is wondering why they are getting into trouble for seeding their huge veggie garden in the front yard.
The couple grows everything from onions and lettuce to twelve different kinds of cabbage; some so rare you won’t find them in grocery stores. Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll tend to their garden daily; it is so big that they must.
Now they find themselves in trouble with the village code inspector. Apparently, according to code, their garden is prohibited from the front yard, and it must be removed. Only two months earlier, the elected Village Council decided that vegetable gardens would be planted only in the rear of homes.
Hermine and Tom tried to grow a garden in their backyard when they first moved into the village but there was not enough sunlight to grow much of anything.
Ricketts and Carrol were found in violation of code. They were ordered to uproot the garden or face fines.The fine is $50 per day for noncompliance. They couldn’t afford the fine, and dug up the garden.
Ricketts and Carrol filed a complaint against the Village citing the state’s constitution that gives every citizen in the state of Florida the right to grow their own food for sustenance.
In court, the judge ruled that prohibiting vegetable gardens in front yards does not restrict anyone’s fundamental rights. The couple lost their case on appeal.
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