Judge Rules Government Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re “Ugly”

vegetable-gardenBy Matt Agorist

Last week, a Miami-Dade judge became the focus of much-deserved anger when she ruled on an ordinance banning front yard vegetable gardens. The village of Miami Shores, according to the ruling, has every right to take legal action against residents who dare to grow food in their own yards because they are “ugly.”

The ruling was a whopping ten pages long as it was filled with legal analysis and definitions of what constitutes a vegetable. Even though she ruled in favor of the ban, Judge Monica Gordo acknowledged that she wasn’t quite sure how a vegetable garden can ruin the aesthetics of one’s property.

However, she stated that the democratically elected government has every right to dictate what constitutes an ugly front yard, and gardens are apparently a contributing factor.

“Given the high degree of deference that must be given to a democratically elected governmental body … Miami Shores’ ban on vegetable gardens outside of the backyard passes constitutional scrutiny,” Gordo wrote.

The court’s decision was based on a three-year long legal battle of Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts. They were facing a fine of $50 a day, not for robbing banks, or trafficking humans, or running some other criminal enterprise — but for growing their own food.

For 17 years, the couple grew their own food in their front yard until one day, the state came knocking.

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.

“There certainly is not a fundamental right to grow vegetables in your front yard,” Richard Sarafan, attorney for Miami Shores, said at the start of the case. “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.

While Ricketts and Carroll are upset over the ruling, the do not plan on backing down anytime soon.

“I am disappointed by today’s ruling,” Ricketts said in a statement to the Miami Herald. “My garden not only provided us with food, but it was also beautiful and added character to the community. I look forward to continuing this fight and ultimately winning so I can once again use my property productively instead of being forced to have a useless lawn.”

According to the report in the Miami Herald:

The upscale village in Northeast Miami-Dade has long insisted it had every right to regulate the look of the community. At a hearing in June, the village’s attorney said vegetable gardens are fine in Miami Shores, as long as they remain out of sight in the backyard.

“There is no vegetable ban in Miami Shores,” Sarafan told the judge. “It’s a farce. A ruse.” However, it’s not a farce. People cannot grow food in their front yards because the government thinks they are unsightly.

“They can petition the Village Council to change the ordinance. They can also support candidates for the Council who agree with their view that the ordinance should be repealed,” Gordo wrote.

However, that is what this couple has been doing for years. Changing the system from within has had zero effect.

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.

“If Hermine and Tom wanted to grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos, Miami Shores would have been completely fine with it,” said their lawyer, Ari Bargil with the Institute of Justice. “They should be equally free to grow food for their own consumption, which they did for 17 years before the village forced them to uproot the very source of their sustenance.”

In modern day America, growing your own food has now become a revolutionary act.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He 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.

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33 Comments on "Judge Rules Government Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re “Ugly”"

  1. Nicole Peterson | September 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Reply

    So ridiculous.

  2. People should wake up and kick judges like him to the curb.

  3. Diamanical Johnson | September 2, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    If they had been doing this for 17 years with no action taken against them then Desuetude would come into play here. That is a legal term used for nullification of laws/ordinances that are left unenforced for long periods of time.

  4. Gee too bad!!! We may have a democratic election, but that does not equate to a democratic ruling!!!

  5. Sounds like this judge would be of more use as fertilizer.

  6. Why do people put up with this crap? There are millions of families growing food all over the country. The gardens where I live are gorgeous and full of bounty. We have dill farms and sheep ranches, chickens and sunflowers… Florida is a mess of stupid rules and incomprehensible laws…. and before you bellow at me, I am a native Floridian who left because you cannot grow food there. Where TF do Floridians think their food comes from, the moon?

  7. Put up a wall around your property.

    • IMO not a good idea. Better we all get involved to maintain the real democracy, otherwise it will be the next garden and the next and the next … till we organically starve.

  8. They don’t own their property. Do they have to pay taxes? Then they don’t own it. Look into deeds of color and allodial titles and land patents. If you have to continuously pay taxes to keep “your” land from being taken away from you, if you have to get someone’s permission to do something with “your” land, it isn’t “your” land. Get it?

    • Yes, and the same goes for a lot of things, like a vehicle title- the one issued is a “certificate of title”, you can get the real one, tag renewals -once its registered to you should be it, driver license was originally intended for taxi drivers/truck drivers. property tax didnt happen for homes till the 50`s.

      • Yep, I believe what you really want with vehicles is the “certificate of origin”… best of luck getting anything other than a blank stare if you ask for it … even if you were going to pay with government silver or gold.

    • ” If you have to continuously pay taxes to keep “your” land from being
      taken away from you, if you have to get someone’s permission to do
      something with “your” land, it isn’t “your” land.”

      I have said this to more people than I can count; mostly I just get blank stares back.

  9. And guess what, thanks to the capricious man-made nature of the Constitution, until .overturned, this just became a part of the supreme law of the land, per Article 6, at least in Florida.

    Think about it: Had Moses come down Mt. Sinai with today’s Constitutional laws, he wouldn’t have come down the Mountain with two tablets but with a hernia, a broken back, and an untold number of wagons pulled by donkeys and elephants alike. And some Christians have the audacity to claim Yahweh’s moral law as burdensome, despite the Apostle John’s declaration to the contrary:

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

    For more on how Yahweh’s perfect law of liberty (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:44-45, James 2:12) applies and should be implemented today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.” Click on my picture, then our website. Go to our Online Books page and scroll down to title.

    • AND…….”religions” have caused more wars, death and destruction, in the name of god, throughout history than any government. This was recognized by the founding fathers of this great nation which is why there is supposed to be a separation between religion and state but still guaranteeing freedom to practice whichever religion you may choose.

      • Dave, you’re correct, including the religion of secular humanism behind today’s American imperialism:

        “…The power to declare war is a serious responsibility. Why were the framers so vague in defining the parameters of war and the conditions under which it could be declared? Section 8, Clause 11 is the only place of significance where warfare is mentioned in the
        Constitution. Little wonder this power has been abused. Luther Martin [one of Maryland’s
        delegates to the Constitutional Convention] protested:

        ‘…the congress have also a power given them to raise and support armies, without any limitation as to numbers, and without any restriction in time of peace. Thus, sir, this plan of
        government, instead of guarding against a standing army, that engine of arbitrary power, which has so often and so successfully been used for the subversion of freedom, has in its formation given it an express and constitutional sanction….’40

        “John Quincy Adams predicted the consequences of America’s international military entanglements:

        “America … has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings…. Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.… She well
        knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors, and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force; the frontlet on her brow would no
        longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster, the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.’41

        “Because the framers provided no Biblical parameters, unbiblical warfare has been the rule ever since. Following is a list of the countries bombed by the United States since World War II….

        “From 1945 to the present, the United States has bombed nineteen different countries under the guise of defending America’s sovereignty and promoting democracy. But America is none the better for it, and not one of these countries has become a legitimate democracy – not that this would be anything to celebrate. Something is amiss. Wars fought for political gain or financial profit can only be classified as ungodly acts of aggression….”

        For more, see online Chapter 4 “Article 1: Legislative Usurpation” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.” Click on my picture, then our website. Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 4.

        Then find out how much you REALLY know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that EXAMINES the Constitution by the Bible.

        • You, sir, are trying to preach religion to me and degrade OUR country and CONSTITUTION when in actuality religious zealots have been the cause of more wars, death, destruction and misery during human history than has been any nation including ours.
          That was why the founders called for separation of religion and state.
          You speak of democracy with regard to our country. The U.S.A. was founded solely as a Republic, not a democratic republic or a democracy, SOLELY AS A REPUBLIC and there is a vast difference between those 3 types of government.
          Religion on the other hand governs its followers as does socialism, communism, fascism, and oligarchy where, basically, one person, or small group of persons, rules all others.
          A prime example is the islamic and catholic religions

        • Most of those framers where deist’s, not Christians.

  10. OWN, FREE food = SOVEREIGNTY = INDEPENDENCE form the profit system = too dangerous for elite that would like to tax all carottes, all tomatos… and keep you on GMO, toxic food so that you can not think too much !

    • He who owned the Food controls the world.
      (Words from Uncle Henry Kissinger).

      • We should PLANT free plants on every free inch of land in A GERRILLA WAY and create FREE FOOD to all 7 billion people ! Thus, we would not be obliged to obey the system ! It’s so easy !

  11. Just about anyone can get used to looking at ugly things. Just ask Judge Gordo’s husband.

  12. “Given the high degree of deference that must be given to a democratically elected governmental body…”

    And that right there is the problem. That’s not how our system is supposed to work, but decades of obsequious courts setting bad precedent has created this myth of democratic “deference,” as if rights can ever be subject to majority vote.

    • A legal, born, U.S. “CITIZEN” can NEVER “lose” the rights guaranteed to them under our GREAT CONSTITUTION, under any circumstance. PERIOD!!!!
      Actually there are only 2 ways in which those rights “may” ever be “lost”, so to speak: 1.) You “voluntarily” renounce your citizenship (foolish/stupid people do foolish/stupid things). 2.) The government assassinates you.
      Item number 2 is becoming VERY MUCH a common day occurrence in our pseudo “police” republic.
      The U.S. was founded as a REPUBLIC not a democracy. Most do not really recognize the difference, but difference there is.

  13. The state did not come knocking, the city did. If you can’t figure out the difference then anything you write is worthless.

  14. Absurd. Grow your own on your land front or back, you have my permission.
    Thumbs down to the jewstice and the ‘judge’.

  15. This is pathetic, a garden is composed of vegetables with or without beneficial “plants” some of those being flowering or “traditional plants” such as marigolds as just 1 example, being used in “companion” planting to repel insects naturally or to attract insects such as bees or even butterflies for pollination. Vegetables even have flowering stages that recur throughout the season. I always used companion planting for benefit and beauty and received many compliments regarding it but even minus the flowering plants a vegetable garden is beautiful and yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but unless they’re setting up a garden and just letting it all go to rot or drying/dying on the vine, even that has its benefits and can be laid down to give back to the soil, or letting plants go to seed so you have your own seed especially organic non gmo death seeds that you want to use/give away/sell for next season, and of course hay/straw can be used to cover all and completely broken down compost to cover that up as well, who’s to say a vegetable garden is not an acceptable form of beauty? If they’re not living in a housing subdivision that has rules and it’s only the city that is trying to dictate to them, fight the city all the way. Growing your own food, fruits, herbs!, and vegetables isn’t a crime and is a thing of beauty as well as a source of sustenance for food and medicine. We all have to draw the line somewhere and stand up for our rights before we lose them all.

  16. Absurd…..

  17. The impression I got from this article is that the judge was actually on the side of the couple BUT the village committee was democratically elected and therefore basically forced to side with them instead. She said if the committee were voted out, then again, the people would have spoken regarding what was desired of the homes aesthetic guidelines especially regarding the front yard….back yard gardens OK.

  18. Yup… Miami Shores…. Still “snob city”…

  19. This story is so full of misinformation. Why does it keep saying “the state” when it’s the VILLAGE government? Were the ordinances in place when they first moved there and/or started their garden? I agree 100% that they should be allowed to grow a vegetable garden anywhere on their land that they want. If the ordinance was already in place and the village ignored them for 17 years, I’d think they’d have a case for unenforcement. If the village put the ordinance in place AFTER they started their garden, they should have a case for being grandfathered in.

    But stop saying “the state” when it’s a LOCAL governmental body that has their own local ordinances. These type of ordinances exist all over the country in all sizes of villages, towns and cities. We have one tiny (<500 people) town here in MO that has an ordinance against having rain barrels – which is STUPID. I suppose I can figure out the original motive (breeding grounds for mosquitoes), but to outlaw them completely is the lazy way out. Same with gardens.

  20. So should we also start banning everything just because it’s perceived as “ugly”? If that’s the case, we should start with Nancy Pelosi and some of the filthy, disgusting demorats.

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