Thursday, November 8, 2012

Florida man fights to keep vegetable garden in front yard

English: Vegetable garden at Colonial Williamsburg

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An Orlando man is fighting city officials to keep his vegetable garden in his front yard. You have to step over radishes, wax beans and kale to get to Jason Helvingston's front door in College Park.

However, his 25 x 25 foot micro-irrigated vegetable garden is against city code, and the city of Orlando has asked Helvingston to dig it up by Wednesday.

"I said, 'You'll take my house before you take my vegetable garden,'" he said.  "There's nothing wrong here, there's nothing poisonous here.  This is a sustainable plot of land."

City code requires ground covers to be planted in a way that gives off a finished appearance so neighborhood lawns are clean, and inviting -- keeping property values up.

Helvingston has decided not to listen to the city.  Instead, he's trying to petition the code to allow for veggie gardens in the front yard.

He's gathered more than 200 signatures, including one from his neighbor, Shelly Snow. "(I'm) definitely not bothered by it.  As a matter of fact, we love it," she said. Helvingston hopes the city will reconsider the code when he meets with a code board in December.

"This is another example of the government telling us what we can do with our own property -- that should never happen," he said.


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