A zen Florida man has racked up $130,000 in legal fees this year because of his unkempt lawn. The man, 32-year-old Sean Law, says he has a moral opposition to cleaning up his lawn and trimming the numerous crops he grows on site.
"My motive is to grow life and love," Law said. "It's a moral imperative that we grow food wherever we can, and that is what I am doing."
This philosophy, Law says, comes from late Japanese philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka. Fukuoka advocated for “Do-Nothing Farming” which calls for growing crops without any weeding, tilling, or pesticide use.
Surely Law is far from alone in his beliefs. The problem is the place he’s choosing to exercise them. Law doesn’t live on ten acres in a rural countryscape. He lives in Longwood, Florida -- a suburban town lined with cookie-cutter homes and freshly manicured lawns. His refusal to clean up his property is frustrating neighbors and law enforcement alike.
"We're tired of it," said a neighbor living across the street from Law. "We've been dealing with it for two years.”
"It's just horrible," said Officer Kevin Tuck of the Longwood Police Department. "We've been dealing with him on this for years."
In September of 2012, a judge ordered Law to clean up his property. The judge ruled that not only is the property an eye-sore, but it drives down the property value of surrounding homes. Law responded to the ruling by saying that his plants aren’t overgrown and his grass isn’t too long -- his neighbor’s lawns are just too short.
Not surprisingly, Presiding Judge Amy Goodblatt didn’t buy this argument. She upheld her order and told Law he would face a $300 fine every day until he started cleaning up his yard. It’s been over a year and three months now, and Law hasn’t budged. Even in the face of $130,000 in fines, Law’s song remains the same.
"We have grown afraid of having life grow around us," he said. "It's blunt tyranny for a city to stop people from growing their own food."
Check out Law's homegrown farm in this video: