Home / Badge Abuse / Govt Bans Growing Food, Forces Family to Destroy Front Yard Garden — Now They’re Fighting Back

Govt Bans Growing Food, Forces Family to Destroy Front Yard Garden — Now They’re Fighting Back

Miami, FL — Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts recently had a run-in with the law and were threatened with daily fines for their illegal activity. Carroll and Ricketts weren’t robbing banks, or trafficking humans, or running some other criminal enterprise — they were growing their own food.

That’s right. For 17 years, the couple grew their own food in their front yard until one day, the state came knocking. They were threatened with a fine of $50 every single day they let the garden grow in their yard.

Not wanting to be extorted or kidnapped and thrown in a cage, the couple immediately complied and dug up their garden. However, now they are fighting back in the form of a lawsuit.

The couple is represented by champions of freedom and liberty at the Institute for Justice whose mission is to protect the right of every American to own and use his or her property freely.

Why on earth would a city enact such a law, you might ask? Well, no one was harmed by the couple’s garden, it was entirely organic, and in nearly two decades, not one of their neighbors ever complained. The only injured party in this ridiculous act was the state.

According to the tyrannical legislation, all homeowners are subject to the same absurd constraints. Their yards must be covered in grass — that is the law.

In the couple’s lawsuit, they’re rightfully claiming that this law violates their constitutional rights. According to a report from FOX, at a hearing Wednesday, their attorney said the ban violates the Florida Constitution in several ways, including improper limits on their private property rights and violation of the equal protection clause by singling out vegetables over other plants.

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“We’re not saying you can do anything you want on your property,” attorney Ari Bargil told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Monica Gordo. “We are simply saying you can grow vegetables on your property and that is protected by the Constitution.”

The couple’s claim of having their constitutional rights violated was quickly rebutted by the city’s attorney, who made the asinine claim that no one has a right to grow vegetables on their own property.

“There certainly is not a fundamental right to grow vegetables in your front yard,” Richard Sarafan, attorney for Miami Shores, said. “Aesthetics and uniformity are legitimate government purposes. Not every property can lawfully be used for every purpose.”

The hubris that it takes to claim that no one has a right to grow vegetables in their front yard is mind blowing. Carroll and Ricketts’ yard is not publicly owned and is not subject to the government’s ‘uniformity’ code — especially when all they are doing is growing food.

This case is different than many of the other gardening cases that arise across the country as the majority of front yard gardens are opposed by Home Owner Associations — not the government. When an HOA tells someone they cannot grow a garden it’s because that person voluntarily agreed to the rules.

Unlike members of HOAs, however, Carroll and Ricketts never agreed to these arbitrary constraints on their private property, which happened to be imposed on them nearly two decades after they’d been growing their own food.

The irony here is that had Carroll and Ricketts been growing their garden in the backyard, spraying gallons of glyphosate and permethrin into the air, the city would have been entirely fine with it. Only when this innocent couple dares to grow food in their front yard, violating the “aesthetics and uniformity” of their control freak government, do they ever hear a word.

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It seems that in modern day America growing your own food has now become a revolutionary act.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.
  • Nishi

    I’m too old for this.

  • Netizen_James

    “the right of every American to own and use his or her property freely.”

    So when your neighbor on one side starts raising and slaughtering hogs, as well as rendering the fat (which smells REALLY bad for miles around), and your neighbor on the other side opens up a strip-club/brothel so that there is constant traffic and noise ’till 3am every morning, you are ok with having no recourse other than to attempt to sell (and then ultimately abandon because you can’t sell) your home and move someplace else? Really?

    So if I want to frack in my backyard, which will ruin YOUR water supply, that’s just tough noogies for you? If I want to burn toxic waste in my backyard, which will poison YOUR children, that’s just too bad, because it’s MY property and I can do whatever the fuck I want?

    Really?

    There’s such a thing as ‘civilization’ and ‘community’. Look into it. It’s a fundamental part of humanity. And sometimes, being part of a community means not being able to do whatever the fuck we want.

    Libertarianism is yet another attempt in a long string of similar attempts to make greed and selfishness virtues. They’re not.

    • Logan

      Are you really comparing brothels, slaugherhouses and fracking to someone growing their vegetables in their frontyard? Lmao

      • James Michael

        Yeah, retards make retarded statements….

    • Logan

      How is, in any form, greedy and selfish? I mean, the fact that you are calling these individuals selfish despite the government actually banning people from growing vegetables says a lot about you. I mean, it’s a good thing we have such an oppressive, for-revenue government or who would stop the people growing vegetables in their garden?

    • F.w.u.f.f.y.

      Pretty sure you’re a troll but for the benefit of others, these are all diversionary red herring examples of industry that pollute others’ property, which is a separate issue. Having an organic vegetable garden does not pollute your neighbor’s property or disturb the peace, or break any real laws.

      Power not specifically granted to the federal government or the states is automatically granted to the people.

    • katz ro

      wow, the difference is tangents versus common sense. The pretentious moronic attitude that all lawns need to look the same and be grass should have been mown down some time ago, it makes no sense

    • The Hermit 9

      What planet are you from? These are vegetables, i.e. plants. By the way, if you know anything about archaeology and anthropology, civilization cannot exist without them . . . .that is the vegetables!

    • Second Hand Joe

      EFFF You.

    • Bob

      You are an absolute idiot

    • avelworldcreator

      I’m afraid your argument is a straw man. “freely” does not mean “impeaceably” as that question is long settled law. If your activities intrude into the space of another then you are denying them fair use of their OWN property. Nuisance activities and those that are creating a public health hazard are not protected under Constitutional law.

      • Brian King

        I bet they giving you a bonus for this one

        • avelworldcreator

          That comment is accusatory. Of what are you accusing me of?

          • Brian King

            Obviously being a govt troll

          • avelworldcreator

            Really, on what do you base that overdrawn conclusion? Because I use legal language? All that means is I have a fucking education.
            I responded to the bullshit of “Netizen_James” who was trying to justify government control over private property. HTF does that make me a GOVERNMENT troll? I think you replied to me by mistake rather than to that lying idiot. Hell, if you look at the other responses you’ll see I’m not even the first one to call out his BS as a “straw man” argument. I only went into more detail into how his pro-government spew WAS a load of crap. So, again, how the fuck does me calling out an obvious government troll on his waste of digital ink make ME the troll of any sort?

          • Brian King

            Alright my bad I thought you were defending him cus you said freely but not impeacably but I looked at it again and you were cutting him cus how can gardening disturb the peace

          • avelworldcreator

            Exactly. If you aren’t doing anything to screw with anyone else the government should not be involved. I figured you didn’t understand something. Apology accepted. It’s all good. When I started talking legal issues I tend to talk towards the legal types and my vocabulary (which you can guess is pretty large and advanced) just follows along. Not talking down to anyone; just aiming for a certain audience.

          • James Michael

            He stated it perfectly…You are the one too ignorant to comprehend it…

          • Brian King

            Oh fuck off I already settled this shit

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            You couldn’t settle a damn thing. You keep contradicting yourself.

          • Brian King

            Damn the brain farts getting to you I didn’t wanna fight an old man

    • billdeserthills

      I purposely bought property outside of a home owners association and I will be doing anything I like on my property, just like at my last house

      • Katydid

        My last HOA let people grow veggies in the front yard.

        • billdeserthills

          Sure isn’t in arizona then

    • Anonymous

      Here we go into absolute idiocy and straw man argumentation. A vegetable garden is NOT the same as “fracking in your back yard” or “running a strip club in your house” or “a hog slaughterhouse on your property.” If you look at the story, it said “nobody complained about the vegetable garden.” If our neighbor had a vegetable garden in their front yard, we would not complain about it. Why? Because it does not harm us. Fracking in their back yard or burning toxic waste are different matters entirely. You do know there is such a thing as the Environmental Protection Agency, right?

  • Netizen_James

    The IJ is good on civil asset forfeiture, I’ll give them that.
    They’re all wet with respect to funneling taxpayer money to religious schools through the fraudulently named ‘school choice’ agenda. For that alone, they will never see a dollar from me.

  • avelworldcreator

    Since WHEN did “aesthetics and conformity” become legitimate government interests. “Government interests” are directly enumerated in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. SCOTUS has consistently found since the very 1st court that the object thereof are controlling on government and establish its interests (though none of these create or confer rights). Let’s see: “More perfect union” – nope, “establish justice” – nope, “provide for a common defense” – nope, “insure domestic tranquility” – nope, “promote the general welfare” – nope, “secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity” – nope. In fact the actions here conflict with several of these object. If it’s a city attorney and I was up against him I’d press him on these points since he should be under oath as a public officer to support the Constitution. Maybe I should contact this group. 😀

    • Andrew Dube

      This is ALL about Rich people believing that other’s front yard gardens will drive down property values. This is FUCKING 1% STUPIDITY again!!!!

      • avelworldcreator

        That’s a possible source of this issue, granted. But another poster has just pointed out this story is three years old. It would be nice to get a followup.

      • alex

        Why do you believe it’s rich people? I think it’s just the government, some idiot government worker, thinking he knows better than anyone else what all of us need to do. This is what happens when we give up our power and let the government chip and chip and chip away at us living our own lives how we see fit. Seat belts, helmet laws, smoking bans, telling us how far our kids can walk by themselves, whether they can play outside next door by themselves, how big our soft drinks can be, etc etc. Yesterday I read my city has an ordinance demanding people not leave their dogs outside when the temp is higher than 90. I think none of these decisions are within the constitutional authority of governments.

        • Andrew Dube

          The reason I say Rich people is because there are actually bylaws in most cities that deal with requirements to keep your property clean and even have your building “fit-in” with the neighbourhood. The argument being that people with nice properties shouldn’t have to suffer devaluation because of crappy dirty lazy neighbours.

  • Maggie

    We all need to be growing our own food. Look south of the border to Venezuela to see what hyper inflation (oh it’s coming) and being oil dependant country does to the food supply! Look at how our bee populations are in massive decline (by 44% in 2015-2016) due to use of all the pesticides that some countries in Europe have banned! The State and Feds should all be sued for endangering our food supply. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!” Last I checked life = includes food. I say GO FOR IT! Sue the State! Get as much as you can and buy more land and plant more food. God knows we are going to need it! Good luck out there & God Bless you!

  • billdeserthills

    The state also needs you remember to pay all the taxes they decided you owe on your little piece of crappy property as well as not allowing you to use that land for anything but growing and of course maintaining that grass for them.

  • Katydid

    I live in AZ. Would be nice if the city was this concerned about junk cars, knee-high weeds, and the group home across the street from me that just bought a new van that goes beep beep beep beep beep beep beep about 5 times a day when they back out of the driveway. No, cities are more worried about vegetables. Sigh

    • billdeserthills

      Why not move into a hoa if you like regimented living. A friend of mine lives in a hoa and were recently unamused to get a ticket for a bush that grew too bushy or high or who the heck knows why they give out tickets?

  • Bob

    All u guys do know that this story is almost 3 years old right??? I think our biggest problem is people not looking further into,things, quit arguing over it and go out and do something, there are enough keyboard warriors already! Cmon people

    • billdeserthills

      Dammit Bob, there is no call for breaking up a perfectly good rant

      • Bob

        Sorry Bill, just putting facts out there, its getting to where we all rely on these smartphones and computers and don’t even question or look into anything anymore and I’m just as guilty.

    • avelworldcreator

      Is there a followup story anywhere? I’ll do some digging but thanks for pointing that out.

  • Paschn

    Ever hear the term; “Holodomor”? In
    the early ’30’s when the Bolshevik Jews were still slaughtering
    Russian Christians/Muslims it had been quite some time since they
    slaughtered the Romanov family to prevent the people from gathering
    ’round their Tzar;

    “We decided it here. Ilyich
    [Lenin] believed that we shouldn’t leave the Whites a live banner to
    rally around, especially under the present difficult circumstances.”

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14n1p-4_weber.html

    So, I guess “Yagoda” figured it was
    time to pick up the pace of the Christian/Muslim slaughter in the
    Ukraine. They moved their sycophants in to position and began the
    systematic confiscation of all the rural farmers’ stored food AND
    their means to grow more. If you fought back or resisted, they
    murdered you.

    In the U.S. Their lackey FDR was
    getting ready to “run things” for them in Sewer Nation while the
    “kosher” media kept the 2 year slaughter-by-starvation from Idiot
    Culture. In the end the pigs murdered 7,000,000 men, women and
    children. Now try to digest this;

    FDR and his fellow puppets KNEW what
    was going on in Russia, KNEW who financed it, (Schiff of Kuhn/Loeb –
    Wall Street), KNEW the Talmudic Jews were mass-murdering millions of
    your fellow Christians/Muslims and STILL he helped prevent Hitler
    from freeing Europe, Russia, Germany et al

    And literally within MONTHS of the
    German slaughter, (which, by the way Patton himself urged the
    mass-murder Eisenhower to move into Russia and annihilate the
    Bolsheviks while they were so weak which led to HIS assassination),
    “Uncle Joe’s” – (Roosevelt’s “pet” name for that animal),
    Soviet Union became a convenient “enemy” for the Judas Class’
    owners to begin a “cold war” from which they made more obscene
    wealth until, 60,000,000 Christians/Muslims deaths, 600,000,000
    Rubles in Gold and everything else that they could lay their greasy
    hands on was gone and their “soviet Union”, bled dry, slowly, ever so slowly
    became Christian/Muslim Mother Russia again. Had Sewer Nation been
    led by HONORABLE statesmen they could have just let the National
    Socialists do their “thing”, in literally a few weeks Russia
    would have been shed of the parasitic Bolsheviks, Central Banks
    around the globe would have withered and died and tens of MILLIONS of
    our fellow white Christians would have been saved! But unfortunately,
    we only had filth like Roosevelts, Churchills etc.

  • Ibcamn

    florida…..no wonder.that shithole state is now turned commie,the cops are all corrupted,the courts and even the little city’s council board members are corrupted…you can’t do shit on your property anymore there,unless you are donating[taxes]considerable amounts of cash to the city you reside in…if you have a vacation destination and your taxed heavily,they don’t care…but a plain old citizen,forget it.florida has turned into one of those creepy charlie states….the little law[s] come creeping up on you and strangle the shit out of you and your wallet…if you don’t comply.you die…..florida has willing henchmen to come and do this to you,very willing henchmen.

  • Brian King

    Another way you buffer whites are paying for supporting the police state usa

  • Brian King

    Wow I’m real proud of y’all flagging my comments like its gunna change the truth congrats you just won the petty award

  • Brian King

    Lmao at that govt troll talking about gardening is the same shit as tracking or having a slaughter house in ya backyard gtfo with that shit

  • Dan Cicora

    I would think that they had a very definite case based upon the fact that they had established precedent in their actions and had consistently and continuously kept this practice up. Further, the legal concept of ex post facto may apply here.

  • Nicholas McNamara

    i think the green grocer snitched on him