Florida couple faces charges over home vegetable garden (video)

By: Anika Rao 

(Scroll down for video) A Florida couple faces hefty financial charges after refusing to give up their home vegetable garden, according to press reports in Orlando.

The couple's home vegetable garden, which is located in the College Park section, is on the cutting board again after the city threatened hefty fines if not uprooted this week, according to a group for citizen’s rights.

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston announced that they are launching the "Plant a Seed, Change the law," program to protest Orlando's law against home gardens, saying it violates their constitutional right to peaceful use of their property to grow their own food.

Several months ago, the city told the Helvenstons that their 25 by 25 foot home garden was not in accordance with the city code.

After hundreds of emails were sent voicing support for the home garden, the city has backed down. This week, the city ordered the couple to uproot the garden and replace it with a lawn or face large fines.

"The most freedom you can give someone is the freedom of knowing that you will not go hungry,"
Jason Helvenston said. "Our Patriot Garden pays for all of its expenses through the food produced and healthy lifestyle while having the lowest carbon footprint possible. It provides valuable food while being attractive. We really do not understand why there is even a discussion. The city will have to take away the house before it takes away our Patriot Garden,” the Helvenstons said.

According to Ari Bargil, counsel of the Institute for Justice, the Helvenstons have a scheduled inspection and will be fined starting this Thursday, up to $500 per day.



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