here is a link to the article about jason helvingston’s “win” in his case to keep his front yard garden. but i am in contact with jason and jennifer helvingston, and there are a few things they want people to know. similar to my case (where you may remember media reported that i won, although that was not quite the way it went. things were not over, and still to this day the same codes are on the books and things have not changed more than in a theoretical sense, with the election of a new mayor…), in orlando, here is the actual status, and it is important for you to know this and to spread the word:
1- the helvingston’s code violation is still ACTIVE and they are facing inspection on december 10th. they have been denied a request to speak at an upcoming city council meeting on december 3rd, and the city code, as it currently stands, still does not allow their front yard vegetable garden.
2- the helvingstons are fighting to get the actual language changed to protect the rights of people to grow edibles on their property. they see this not as an issue of landscaping, but as one of a fundamental right that needs protecting. this is important to keep in mind when you discuss this with other people. it doesn’t matter how pretty or not pretty you think it is; it boils down to the question of whether you believe that people should or should not be able to have some autonomy over their food sources.
3- you can get out in front of this issue. you can call in to local radio programs or write in to magazines and local papers. you don’t have to wait for people to bring it up or for it to hit families in your corner of the country. you can start a discussion about growing food and all the reasons it’s important. if you need some help with resources, just ask and i will post a bunch. i’m sure people here would be happy to suggest their favorites. the important thing is to just do something. why wait?
i’ll keep you posted about what i hear from jason and jennifer, and you can keep us posted on what is going on where you live as far as front yard gardens go. if you know of a city with good front yard garden rules on the books, let me know and i will forward the info to the helvingstons.
meanwhile, stay vigilant and stay motivated. food is basic. food is your right.