Imagine as a homeowner, being told where you can and cannot plant your vegetable garden. That’s the exact battle a Florida couple faced for six years.
The City of Miami Shores told Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll that the garden they maintained for almost twenty years was illegal, according to CNN affiliate WPLG.
In 2013, the Miami Shores Village code enforcement department served the couple with a notice saying they were in violation of an ordinance that banned front-yard vegetable gardens. They would be fined $50 per day if they didn’t remove their garden, according to the Institute for Justice. The national advocacy group “litigates to limit the size and scope of government power and to ensure that all Americans have the right to control their own destinies as free and responsible members of society,” according to its website.
Six months after Ricketts and Carroll were given notice, they filed a lawsuit for the right to have a front-yard vegetable garden but Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Miami Shores Village.
“I love gardening,” Ricketts told WPLG. “I love being able to kneel down in the ground, to touch the soil.”
After six years of fighting and thanks to a new law that went into effect July 1, Floridians will now be able to plant the fruits and vegetables they want in their respective front lawns.
Last month, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 82 that states local governments can’t ban homeowners from growing fruits and vegetables in their own lawns.
“Any local ordinance that expressly limits or prohibits growing vegetables on one’s own property will be “void and unenforceable,”” the Institute for Justice said when the bill was signed into law.
“I am just pleased to be here, to know that all the people in the state can benefit from my six years of stress,” Ricketts told WPLG.
In a statement, Ricketts said she’s grateful to the legislature and governor for standing up to protect her freedom to grow healthy food on her property.
“Finally the state has ended a senseless assault on our property rights,” she said.
CNN reached out to Miami Shores Village, but they declined to comment.