Thursday, January 10, 2013


Friends and Supporters –

We have attached the new Vegetable Garden Proposal that the city announced 01/08/2013.  Most of our Patriot Garden must go and now they are regulating the back and side yards too.

We have until Tuesday 01/15/2013 at 8:30a to prepare a presentation for the Municipal Planning Board that is selected by Mayor Buddy Dyer.  They have given us little chance for success but we are going to still try.

Here are our major points.
1.  The government shouldn’t be telling us what we can or can’t do with the land we own as long as there are no quantifiable impacts.

2.  The Proposal is a conviction against edible annuals while all other annuals are unrestricted.

3.  The Proposal is a clear strategy against edible gardens by pushing them under the roof line of the building or in its shadow while at the same time requiring year round success.

4.  The Proposal is an assault against the financially less fortunate that cannot afford expensive fences and raised bed structures by pushing their edible gardens even further into the shadows of the building.

5.  The Proposal is discriminating against ALL edible plants by requiring higher standards and special definitions than any other plant in the City's Landscape Code.  By discriminating against the plants that we eat, you are discriminating against us.

6.  The Proposal is a discredit against sustainability.  The City's code will allow max. 60% environment crushing grass but only max. 25% edible annuals with no impacts. 

The best and fare solution for the City is the simplest.  Edible plants meet the same standards and requirements as all other plants.  An edible ground cover gets treated the same as any other ground cover, an edible annual gets treated the same as any other annual.  Each yard in the City of Orlando must be "kept and maintained" to the same levels as any other yard.  NO HIGHER STANDARDS FOR FOOD. 

Therefore, we are creating a formal Landscape Proposal for the MPB from us which states just that. 

We are asking all local supporters to attend the Municipal Planning Board meeting on Tuesday the 15th at 8:30a in the City Council Chambers, Orlando City Hall.  Please gather in front of City Hall at 7:30am and wear a GREEN shirt.
Thank you so much for your continued support.  God Bless.

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston


  1. hi guys! i have posted this on my blog, have sent a letter to your mayor, and have encouraged my readers to do the same. good luck to you, and please keep us posted! in solidarity- julie bass

  2. good luck to you guys! sad to see you don't have more support online here on the blog but hoping you have lots in person. I am up in jacksonville and slowly turning my yard into more edibles in the landscaping. Many thanks to your brave in your face mini-scale farming and food sustainability moves in your front yard.

  3. We joined your epic battle with these simpering government goons!

  4. Thank God for people like you two who have the courage and strength to stand your ground and fight for everyones rights.
    I find it very inspiring how much food you grow in your front garden.
    Its winter right now in the UK but as soon as spring comes along I will be growing food in my front garden.
    Keep up the good work and much love and respect.

  5. Good luck!
    Are they not contravening a basic human right? Everyone should be able to grow their own food, should they choose!

  6. During WW II, gardens in the front yard were called a Victory Garden. It was a families patriotic duty to grow one, if they could. Of course, thats when our federal, state, and local government had "common sense". Now we have common stupidty leading the way. And no attention paid to our nations' Constitution. No pursuit of happiness allowed!!
    How much would they fine you,daily?
    I appreciate your courage to fight them.

  7. Hi Jason and Jennifer, I've just returned from a vacation at our cottage on Monhegan Island, ME. For several years now they have been farming plots on various people's lands and giving them a percentage of their produce in exchange for using their lands. Every Tuesday there is a farmer's market on the church lawn, the local brewery gives them the spent mash for fertilizer and some of the islanders "mow" with scythes to create hay for use in the gardens. More and more people are getting in on the project. When I read your article online I thought of this and that you might like to hear about it. Thanks for taking a stand!