Thursday, December 12, 2013

VICTORY… For Food Freedom

It is now legal to grow your own food anywhere in your yard within the City of Orlando.  We all managed to change our little part of the world for the better.  Congratulations everyone.  We did it.

Never mind the convoluted code writing, it would be very difficult for anyone to ever get a “vegetable” code violation again.  Our front yard garden is completely legal AS IS.

Thank you ALL.  Special thanks to Kitchen Gardeners International, Institute for Justice, MotherEarth News, TreeHugger, Coalition for Property Rights, Campaign for Liberty, Food Not Bombs, Food Not Lawns,, Orlando Center for Urban Permaculture, Front Porch Radio, all of the media, and so many more.

We also told the City of Orlando that we expect more than just accepting edible gardens out of a self proclaimed sustainable leader.  We hope to see the new Food Security programs and campaigns that we suggested by the time the new ordinance goes into effect in March 2014, all of which cost the city little to no money.  The world is watching to see if the City of Orlando is really a sustainable leader.  Be sure and let them know what you expect by keeping the pressure on.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to inform you of an undertaking one of our partners have just started ―the Institute for Justice's Food Freedom Initiative.  IJ seeks to improve state laws for food producers, consumers and entrepreneurs across the country. One of their first cases has our fellow Floridians in Miami Shores going through a similar battle for their front yard vegetable garden—they could certainly use your support!

The Patriot Garden campaign (including 6000+ petition) is still available to anyone who needs it—we’re not the only ones who have had to protect a front yard garden from the government.  We hope to continue the movement.  Most importantly, we will continue to help others grow their own food.   Please feel free to contact us for help.

Keep those Patriot Garden signs up and keep distributing the petitions for all the others.

We have only just begun.  Thank you again.


Jason and Jennifer Helvenston

Friday, December 6, 2013

Final Vote on Your Food.

Thank you all for attending the last meeting and the continued support.  Victory is near.  Please do not think that this is a slam dunk or that it is over.  They often change direction at the last minute.  We not only need to apply more pressure on the City to be a true leader in the food freedom movement but we need to show them a Victory Celebration.

The Orlando City Council will be voting on a new City Landscape Ordinance that will include edible landscape.  We will be asking to speak at about doing more to lead the Food Freedom Movement but hope to have a Victory Celebration after the final vote. 
-FINAL Reading and Vote will be 
Monday December 9th meeting that starts at 2pm
Orlando City Hall
400 S Orange Ave

Orlando, FL 32801When the City of Orlando starts to enforce the Ordinance in March 2014, we will be asking them to also announce leading programs/campaigns for Food Freedom.  We are in the international spotlight; and if the City is serious about sustainability then they should not miss this amazing opportunity to let the whole world know how they are going to lead the way.  

We will be asking them to drop restrictions and barriers on community gardens so that we can have more than 5.  We will be asking them to start an Urban Learning Farm.  We will ask them to start a community based social marketing campaign that celebrates and encourages sustainability and growing your own food.  We will ask them to create a Food Freedom Tour Map of the City showing where the participating Food Freedom businesses and homesteads are located.  We will ask them to create and find Food Freedom Grants so our community can lead the movement with incentives.

A final group demonstration would continue to show the City that we are serious so please come out with signs and vegetables for one last time.  Let the signs show your goals for your City.  This is your opportunity to tell the City of Orlando your ideas and have a say in your Food Freedom.

Afterwards we want to celebrate the rare Victory with all of those who have helped and now know that they can produce their own food in the City of Orlando.  We will be heading over to Orlando Brewing who brews all organic beers.  The City of Orlando is lucky to have a business that believes in organic ingredients so come out to help support Orlando Brewing too.

Victory Celebration at Orlando Brewing – 1301 Atlanta Ave, Orlando, FL 32806 (just over 1 mile from City Hall)

Hope to see all of you there.


Jason and Jennifer