Miami Shores Family Fined for Growing Food

Miami Shores Family Fined for Growing Food

Are you guys as tired of these stories as I am? A Miami Shores family is facing hefty fines for growing their own food.

Miami couple Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll are being threatened with a fine of $50 per day for growing fruits and vegetables in their front yard. On their own property. The fine is part of a new ordinance that their neighborhood – Miami Shores Village – passed in May.

The couple tried to appeal to code enforcement, because they’ve had their front yard food garden for almost two decades, but their appeals were denied. Eventually they tore up their food plants in order to avoid the exorbitant fines.

Beth Buczynski reported on this story over at Care2 and makes an excellent point:

Perhaps someone should remind the good people of Miami Shores Village, and all the rest of these cities, that gardening was once considered the highest form of patriotism in this country, and those who didn’t grow as much food as possible were thought to be shirking their responsibility. Rather than worrying about “aesthetics,” Village leaders would be better off informing citizens of just how wasteful it is to dump drinkable water onto a lawn they can’t eat (not to mention all the chemical pesticides and fertilizers).

Amen, sister! We should be encouraging more families to grow food wherever they can, not forcing people to rip out their decades-old gardens for aesthetic purposes.

This isn’t the end of the story for this Miami couple, fortunately. The Institute for Justice is suing for the couple’s right to grow their own food, and they even created a video to raise awareness about this issue:

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that folks have faced push-back for growing their own food. Here are a few other examples of this disturbing trend:

Have you run into this issue in your area? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Tomato Plant photo via Shutterstock

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