Couple who had been growing their own food for 17 years forced to stop because it isn't "aesthetic"

The couple is suing Miami Shores for $1 -- and the right to grow their own vegetables

Published November 20, 2013 9:43PM (EST)

   (Institute for Justice)
(Institute for Justice)

Meet Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, a South Florida couple who've been growing what they say is 80 percent of their food in a front-yard vegetable garden for the past 17 years. As it turns out, their self-sufficient lifestyle counts as illegal activity in Miami Shores -- the couple was told to either rip out their garden, or pay $50 per day in fines.

The most infuriating part of the whole thing is why Miami Shores won't let the couple keep their garden: vegetables are “inconsistent with the city’s aesthetic character.” Fruits, flowers and plastic flamingos, on the other hand, are all permitted. Ricketts and Carroll are challenging the ordinance that regulates front-yard aesthetics, arguing that it's irrational and unconstitutional. They're suing the village for just $1 -- and the right to start growing their own food again.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit that's representing the couple, made this adorable video about the case. Prepare to feel entertained and infuriated, all at once:

h/t Grist

By Lindsay Abrams

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Food Gardening Libertarianism Miami Video