Orlando City Code

Couple Fined For Having Garden: Growing Vegetables Will Cost $500 A Day

Orlando, FL – A couple could be fined for having a garden if they don’t remove the offending space by Thursday.

If the couple decides keep the garden, then they will have to pay $500 per day. The Christian Post is reporting that an Orlando city code prohibits residents from growing fruits and vegetables in their front yards.

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston feel the code violates their right to grow food on their property. In response to the garden fine, the couple have launched “Plant a Seed, Change the Law.” The initiative aims to bring attention to the city code they feel is unfair.

Jennifer Helvenston explained:

“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.”

According to The New York Times, the Helvenstons’ front yard lacks a “finished” look as dictated by the code. As a result, the couple will have to pay $500 a day if they decide to keep the garden.

Although the couple could end up spending a sizable chunk of change before all is said and done, Jason seems to be keeping a positive outlook on the situation.

He explained:

“We didn’t want this to happen, but it’s a blessing. It’s gotten more people planting gardens.”

As for putting up a fence, the Helvenstons don’t feel that’s a reasonable alternative to removing the garden. Jason said putting up a fence essentially ruins his “return on investment.”

What do you think about the couple and their garden? Do you think the city is in the wrong for enforcing the code?

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