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Couple Fined for having Garden in Orlando

A couple in Orlando, Fla. are facing possibly thousands of dollars worth of fines — all for their vegetable garden.

After planting a vegetable garden in their front yard, Jason and Jennifer Helvenston have been told that it violates city ordinances demanding residents keep their yard “tidy and grassy and property-value friendly,” according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The city told the Helvenstons that they must dig up their garden by Jan. 10, 2013 or face $500 per day of fines. But, thanks to Click Orlando, the city received hundreds of emails supporting the garden and asking for the city to reconsider their law. For now, the city has backed down, but it looks as if neither side will give up their fight over the garden.

"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,” Jason told Click Orlando. “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."

The Helvenstons do not plan to dig up their lawn — or Patriot Garden, as they’re calling it — and have actually instead began a movement encouraging suburban gardens where residents can email and receive a free packet of radish seeds and a sign that reads, “Patriot Garden: Plant a Seed, Change the Law.”


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