A couple fined for having a garden has been instructed to dig up their vegetables by Jan. 10, 2013 or pay the whopping sum of $500 per day in fines. Jason and Jennifer Helvenston of Orlando, Fla. planted a vegetable garden, which they have dubbed a "Patriot Garden," in their front yard. However, the city in which they live values front yards that are "tidy and grassy and property-value friendly," according to a Jan. 9, 2013 report by The Christian Science Monitor, instead of front yards that contribute food to families.
After the story about the couple fined for having a garden went public in November 2012, thanks to Click Orlando, hundreds of emails of support were sent to the city, and they relented temporarily. However, the couple's brief respite is over, and their vegetable garden must be destroyed by tomorrow or the fine will be assessed. The city said that the 25-by-25-foot front yard vegetable garden does not comply with the city's municipal code, and it must be replaced by a lawn.
Jason and Jennifer Helvenston do not plan to comply with the city's demands. Jason told Click Orlando:
"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 urged other residents of Orlando and elsewhere to join the Patriot Garden movement. She said, "Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.'"
Do you support the couple fined for having a garden? Comments are welcome.