sorry you have to be a member, but proud to count you among those who stand up for your rights.

here’s the link to the news story for those of you who didn’t read the last post:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/College-Park-man-fights-to-keep-vegetable-garden-in-front-yard/-/1637132/17319262/-/14pb6cjz/-/index.html

so orlando, florida is the latest city to try to enforce some vague city code to micromanage their citizens’ lives. in this case, their city ordinance says something about desiring a “finished look” on their citizens’ front lawns. i watched the news clip, and his garden looked pretty “finished” to me. i don’t know what state the yards around him were in, or if anyone else ever had to replant grass from seed, or re-sod their precious lawn, or have landscaping work done (of course to recreate that golf course look we all treasure so dearly…), but i’m guessing the code enforcement guys didn’t crack down on them in quite the same way…

so i’m left to wonder, what is it about vegetables that seems to boil the blood of local bureaucrats?

honestly, i can’t understand what makes a tomato so much more threatening than a tulip.

i get that cities are afraid of blight and pests and blah blah blah (since all of these things can be just as much of an issue on back yard gardens, or side yard gardens- so why front yard gardens inspire such a virulent brand of ire and revulsion is confounding), but when someone has a property that they are clearly maintaining, and clearly looking after better than the average citizen, then i am forced to ask: what is the harm being done to society?

what, exactly, is the government protecting us from?

are property values really higher in orlando with patches of scorched up front lawn and bare earth and ugly weeds burned by toxic chemicals than they are with this lush and thriving garden in the neighborhood?

and, according to the news report, he’s collected 200 signatures in support of his garden already. so again i ask: who, exactly is the city of orlando protecting by demanding jason rip up his garden?

i could go through all the myriad reasons why it is better for the world to have gardens instead of lawns, but i know you know them already. i know the people who work for the city of orlando must know them already. pretty much anyone who isn’t living in a sealed underground bunker knows them already.

so what’s to be gained from the continued assault on front yard gardens?

and why after my case and karl’s case and denise morrison’s case and the case in memphis and the case in montreal and case after case after case after case are there still cities out there trying to make a case out of a front yard garden?

gosh, people!

he isn’t forcing his vegetables on anyone.

the city fathers of orlando are still free to go to their local convenience stores and stock up on twinkies if that’s what they want.

jason helvingston isn’t preaching or proselytizing.

he’s just trying to make intelligent use of his own land in his own yard and grow some of his own food.

so, jason helvingston, i’m glad to see that your story is making the rounds and that people are getting the word out for you. i’m sorry you find yourself in this position, but i hope you stay strong and keep up the righteous fight. there are lots of good people out there who will stand behind you,  and hopefully orlando will do the right thing. there’s certainly lots of precedent out there to support you.

to whomever in orlando is driving this mess: boo to you! c’mon, really? this is quite unsuitable.

and to all of you out there, please keep updates flowing here, and i will try to do the same.