Governor Ron DeSantis has signed Florida’s Senate Bill 82, prohibiting local governments from banning vegetable gardens on any part of residential properties.

It means Florida property owners can again grow fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants, on any part of their residential properties, including their front yards.

The governor’s signature means Flordia residents will be raising more fruits and vegetables and that in turn, say the experts, means Floridians will have lower blood pressure, less heart disease, and reduced cancer rates.

With DeSantis’s signature, SB 82 will take effect in just a matter of days on July 1.
It ends the bullying tactics of local governments, which for “aesthetic purposes” had the power to prohibit vegetable gardens.

Only when Miami Shores Village property owners Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll were slapped with a $50 per day fine for keeping the front yard vegetable garden they’d had for 17 years did things get interesting.

Ricketts and Carroll decided to fight City Hall in a case that went up and down every level of Florida’s court system. At every turn, judges ruled in favor of local government power and against the right to grow food on one’s own property.

When they lost at the Flordia Supreme Court, Ricketts and Carroll erected pink flamingos where their garden once helped make them healthy.

Their cause, however, was heard just in time for the 2019 Florida Legislature, which voted 35-5 in the Senate for SB 82. A 93-16 favorable vote followed in the House. And DeSantis made it official on June 24.

Now some number of local ordinances must be scrubbed, and somebody needs to tell Ricketts and Carroll, they can take those flamingos down.

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