Nanny State

Miami Couple Fights Back Over Vegetable Garden Ban


For 17 years, Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll grew vegetables in a garden in front of their house. However, the city of Miami Shores is not too keen on the vegetable garden because it is in the front yard, which is against city code. They were told to uproot the garden or face $50 a day in fines, or upwards of $1,500 a month. Pretty steep price to pay just to have healthy food. So, the couple was forced to uproot the garden.

The good news is that the Institute for Justice has come to their help and is filing a lawsuit on their behalf. IJ attorney Ari Bargil says “The lack of reason is part of our complaint, there is no rational basis for a ban on a peaceful and productive use of property, like growing vegetables in your front yard.”

Vice Mayor Jesse Walters has agreed to meet with the couple, but it is likely that the lawsuit will have much more power in changing the silly ordinance. Ricketts says that they never needed to shop for produce and 80% of their meals came straight from the garden. They would grow the veggies in the back yard, but there just isn’t enough sunlight there.

If you own the property, you should be able to do what you want with it, especially if it is not harming anyone. I would say that a vegetable garden looks good, is healthy for you and others, and enriches the soil, so there is no reason for the regulation, and hopefully the lawsuit changes that. However, Ricketts and Carroll will never get those plants back that they spent all of those years cultivating.


Image: CBS  Miami

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