Health

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston Threatened with $500 a Day Fine for Garden

| by Michael Allen

City officials in Orlando, Florida have threatened Jason and Jennifer Helvenston with massive fines if they don't uproot their vegetable garden by Thursday.

In response, the Helvenstons are keeping their garden and encouraging others to start gardens with their 'Plant a Seed, Change the Law' campaign, reports Local 6.

In November, the city told the Helvenstons that their 25-by-25-foot front yard vegetable garden was not in compliance with the city's code.

After hundreds of emails supporting the Helvenstons flowed in, the city allowed the couple to keep their garden, but now Orlando officials have asked them once again to uproot their garden and replace it with a lawn, or face being fined up to $500 a day.

Jason Helvenston told Local 6: "The greatest freedom you can give someone is the freedom to know they will not go hungry. Our Patriot Garden pays for all of its costs in healthy food and lifestyle while having the lowest possible carbon footprint. It supplies valuable food while being attractive. I really do not understand why there is even a discussion. They will take our house before they take our Patriot Garden."

Jennifer Helvenston added: "We are asking residents across Orlando and the country to join us in planting a ‘Patriot Garden’ in their own front yards. Please email us at [email protected] and we will send you a free packet of radish seeds and a small sign for your front yard that says ‘Patriot Garden:  Plant a Seed, Change the Law.’"

On Tuesday, Orlando city officials told Local 6 the case is on hold, but didn't elaborate.