Florida towns can no longer ban residential vegetable gardens

By Kate Gibson

/ MoneyWatch

Vegetable gardens may not be as visually pleasing as the floral variety, but Floridians looking to save some green by growing their own salad fixings can soon do so without fear. Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed legislation that bans local governments from enacting ordinances against homeowners from raising veggies in their yards.

The law, which takes effect July 1, puts an end to that particular power of towns and municipalities across the state to prohibit vegetable gardens for "aesthetic purposes."

The issue became a cause after a couple living in Miami Shores Village contested a $50 a day fine for growing vegetables in their front yard, as they'd done for years.

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Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll fought City Hall in a case that wound its way up the state's court system, with judges consistently ruling against their money-saving and health-conscious venture.

Rooftop Roots installs vegetable gardens throughout D.C.

After the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of Miami Shores' right to control design and landscaping standards, the couple replaced their vegetables with pink flamingos.

Their cause was not lost, however. State lawmakers proposed and passed legislation that effectively voids the court rulings, with Republican Senator Rob Bradley, who sponsored the bill, reportedly calling the village's action a "vast overreach."

The lawmaker noted the difficulty that many families experience getting fresh and affordable food, calling bans against vegetable and fruit gardens ridiculous.

About a third of all households in the U.S. grow some of their own food, according to the National Gardening Association. The group says a 600-square-foot garden that costs around $70 a year to cultivate can grow 300 pounds of fresh produce worth about $600 annually.

First published on June 26, 2019 / 4:50 PM

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