Judge upholds ban on Miami Shores couple’s front-yard vegetable garden

MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida couple is fighting to replant their front yard garden, but a judge has halted their plans.

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll have lived in Miami Shores for 20 years, but three years ago, the Village of Miami Shores told them they had to remove the vegetable garden from their front yard. The village was concerned with aesthetics and uniformity in residential areas.

Ricketts and Carroll challenged the ban, but a judge said, Thursday, the village was allowed to enforce it.

The judge wrote in his decision, “The court finds that the prohibition of vegetable gardens except in the back yards is rationally related to Miami Shores’ legitimate interest in promoting and maintaining aesthetics.”

“We will appeal the decision,” Ricketts said.

When asked why this case is so important, Ricketts said, “Because it’s an issue of freedom of what we eat.”

Ricketts said that planting her own crops is the best way for her to know what she’s eating.

“There are certain companies who don’t want to label what’s in their food, and we don’t know what’s, you know, what type of pesticides is being used,” she said. “We want to have the freedom of eating healthy.”

Ricketts said that everyone cares about what goes into their food.

“It’s important enough to everyone, even those who don’t garden, to have the freedom to grow their own food,” she said. “You know, so it’s not just me, it’s people all around the country.”

Ricketts’ garden may be empty now, but she hasn’t given up hope that she’ll be able to grow her plants again one day.

“It’s empty, usually there would be kales and cabbages and lettuce growing around here, different colors. Now it’s bare. It’s going to stay bare because I am not going to extend my energy to plant in things that the village deems appropriate.”

The judge suggested that Ricketts could work to change the ordinances in Miami Shores, rather than going to court.

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