The Florida House on Wednesday gave final approval to a measure that would prevent local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens. The 93-16 vote will send the bill (SB 82) to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The issue stems from a dispute between homeowners Hermine Ricketts and Laurence Carroll and the village of Miami Shores over an ordinance that banned front-yard vegetable gardens. The couple had maintained a front-yard garden for nearly two decades but uprooted their vegetables when faced with the possibility of fines. They challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance but lost in court, with the Florida Supreme Court last year declining to take up the issue.
House bill sponsor Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, said Wednesday the legislation involves fundamental rights and that government has “no business” telling Floridians they can’t grow their own food, no matter where they live. “Although simple in nature, this is a very important bill,” Fetterhoff said.
The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, cleared the Senate in a 35-5 vote on March 21.
Source: News Service of Florida