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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the right to grow vegetables on your own land

For retired architect Hermine Ricketts, plotting out her prized vegetable garden — with its okra, kale, lettuce, onions and a dozen or more varieties of Asian cabbage — was a labor of love.
But Miami Shores village leaders, unhappy with Ricketts green thumb, ordered her and husband Tom Carroll to dig up the bounty they have been growing for the past 17 years in their front yard — or face fines of $50 a day. A front yard garden violates a zoning ordinance, village officials say.
The couple sued Tuesday, accusing Miami Shores of violating their rights under the Florida Constitution. Ricketts never had to visit the produce aisle of a supermarket for vegetables. Now she does.
“We are already feeling the impact of shopping for overpriced organic food,” she said Tuesday, standing near a plot where her eggplants used to grow.
The couple are not seeking money; they’re suing for $1. They just want to be able to restore their vegetable garden in their front yard.
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