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It’s a sad day in Florida: Property rights for homeowners have taken a huge blow as courts confirm that growing edible plants in your own front yard is, in fact, a crime. Out of all the terrible things a person can do these days, gardening is the last thing you may have suspected would become a punishable offense. To no one’s surprise, Big Government continues to use strong-arm tactics against innocent people looking to engage in some basic self-sufficiency. If they can’t take your guns, they’ll take your garden.
This display of obvious government overreach first began back in 2013, when Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll were faced with fines of up to $50 per day — for the crime of growing edible plants like tomatoes and Asian cabbage in their front yard — after city ordinances were changed. While they didn’t face any jail time, the couple had to dig up their prosperous garden. Due to their north-facing backyard that gets little sun, they’ve not been able to resume gardening.
The couple has been fighting against the Village of Miami Shores and their outrageous ordinance ever since — along with help from the Institute of Justice (IJ), a non-profit law firm. IJ lawyer Ari Bargil, contended, “This decision gives local governments tremendous leeway to regulate harmless activities in the name of aesthetics. It gives government the power to prohibit homeowners from growing plants in their front yards simply because they intend to eat them.”