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

80 thoughts on “VICTORY… For Food Freedom

  1. With a smaller yard than I would like, I have been planting my ‘garden’ in raised beds against the house. This will increase the amount of productivity I can provide as well as making a statement.

  2. Kip says:

    Gardening is art! It is also the production of a commodity of value to potentially be sold for money – an instrument of free speech according to the US Supreme Court.

  3. Jenn says:

    Growing organic vegetables for consumption is a healthier alternative to everyday living. We should eat to survive, although some of us live to eat. As a foodie, I do purchase from the displays of high end grocery stores at high end prices beacuse they were imported or “organic.” If we were all educated on ways to grow our own food and how much healthier it can be; US citizens would greatly benefit from it. Examples would be…health care costs would more than likely decrease (because we can live/eat healthier), can be a great form of excercise and rehabilitation, a stress reliever knowing we won’t starve when times are tough, and it’s something you can share with your friends, family, and neighbors as true gifts from the heart and for your heart.

  4. Nancy says:

    Does the city have a written law, or covenants that state what can or can’t be planted?

  5. Natalie cofield says:

    Completely outrageous. What is wrong with America? I’ve been wanting to plant a front yard garden for awhile but am in a neighborhood with a crazy-strict home owners association and I need to have a very good plan to present first. I completely support you guys and would love to know how to fight this with you. If everyone in America had a front yard garden our country would be a MUCH better place to live

  6. Earl says:

    Let them plant, crazy laws that hinder progress, to grow smarter check out growbiointensive dot com. they have a video series for free on how to grow smarter.

  7. Earl says:

    Do you have a place to sign up for a petition, or start a youtube of facebook page where you can get millions of likes, which can in turn raise awareness and revenue…

  8. RChante says:

    Power to the leafy green yards. Grass lawns are so passe’. 🙂

  9. Becky Leaf says:

    Good Luck to you. I plant a garden every year and I would be very mad if the city told me no. I hope you can get them to change their policy.

  10. Rick Gunter says:

    Americans growing their own food is part of being American. The pioneers who settled our land relied on what they grew for their survival. During times of war, Americans were encouraged to grow their own produce to make farm raised produce available for the war effort. Now, more than ever, we are involved in a different type of war that includes all Americans. Iraq and Afghanistan aside, we find ourselves immersed in a war against the effects of an economy that continues to hurt the majority of Americans, with reduced incomes, or no incomes at all. Raising one’s own food is the only recourse. We also find ourselves increasingly at the mercy of food producers who have changed the food we eat in ways we don’t even yet know the long-term effects of, and this practice is given its blessing by the very government that should prevent this in our best interest.

    The notion of preventing Americans from growing food on their property wherever they wish is criminal, not to mention that the practice is better for our environment.

    Please leave the Helvenstons alone to pursue their rights as Americans, to grow what they want where they want to on their property.

  11. Linn says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. America is supposed to be free, and because we are actually taking care of ourselves and providing our bodies with proper nutrition and food that we know where it’s coming from, you want to fine people because they are taking money away from you? Government, you are a nasty piece of crap, and it’s time this changes. Stop trying to take control of our lives. If you have nothing better to do than fine people for having a garden, then I suggest you take a look at your own life and re-evaluate what is important to you because this is simply pathetic! The US is not a free country anymore and it is bullshit if you think it is. We are becoming no better than many other countries out there. Let us live how we choose and you do the same for yourself and no one else. Grow the F up American Government!

  12. Mendy says:

    People need to be allowed to grow vegetables and fruit on their property. We should not be forced to have to rely on produce sold in grocery stores. Jennifer and Jason need the support of their “green” city residents to fight their city council for their basic right to grow produce in their yard.

  13. Kristin Shutler says:

    It is amazing when a government should be focused on building jobs, building the economy and ensuring our borders are safe … that they do not have time to meet with the job council, balance the budget and our troops are dying … but, they find time to go after patriotic citizens who are doing what they need to in order to make it during these times. Gardens are needed and they are wonderful. GOVERNMENT, FOCUS ON WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AND LEAVE US ALONE! We can do what we want with our property as long as it is not causing harm to others – a garden does not cause harm.

  14. John W. McLeod says:

    I have read many articles and stories of “Victory” gardens and “Patriot” gardens during times of war and home front sacrifice. Why can’t that tradition carry forward into the 21st century. People used to be proud of their home gardens and made sure that they were visible from the streets.

  15. Charlie says:

    i met your brother here in Altamonte who told me of your first victory yesterday. Congratulations. We are growing a garden in our old dining room, enjoying lettuce and radishes, etc. Good luck!

  16. parkerjwill says:

    Right on. Stick to your guns, no matter what. Document everything. Share it with the world. Great service to humanity – to all life, actually.

  17. grew a thousand lbs of food last year, plan to double it or tripple it this year, neighbors seem to be ok with it friend me on facebook made two videos of last years harvest and send me a pic of a good sign to put up

  18. Melissa says:

    Did you know that in many places it is also illegal to capture rainwater?? I am blown away (and completely outraged, really) by the restrictions that you are facing! I have seen another blog called Outlaw Garden where a homeowner with similar restrictions grows a great many edibles camouflaged amongst the flowers in her front yard! (she hasn’t been busted yet!) I really hope that this ridiculous infringement on your rights is stopped!

  19. Bobby Hall says:

    i support you 100%….freedom to live off the land…freedom to eat healthy!

  20. Gabrielle says:

    Hello Jennifer & Jason,
    I signed your petition on today!
    Your garden, home and life force is awesome! My sister lives in Ocoee and I had
    given thought of relocation there with my daughter to be closer to family. Please clear the way so if we do we can plant a garden. Thanks for your action and not giving in. We are renter’s and requested to plant a 10×10 plot. They said no. We did it anyway. Now even the Onsite manager loves my garden and has tasted it’s bounty. So when you hear no think yes was more letters and find a way. 🙂 Stand firm and rooted in your ideas. The planet does not need another roundup toxic yard.

  21. Gabrielle says:

    Can you find a renter who loves gardens to
    rent your neighbors home? Or someone to by it for you? Then you can expand your garden. Start a farmer’s market? Just a thought. 🙂

  22. G. Edward Calvo says:

    Just read the article in College Park Community Paper. My wife and I plan to retire in December of this year and plan to get into vegetable gardening next year for enjoyment and to stretch the food budget (retirement is scary).

  23. Jennifer A says:

    I love what you are doing.

  24. More Info says:

    Thanks for sharing your fantastic webpage.

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  26. leo g king says:

    hang in there ,the american spirit be your guide.we can always take away the jobs of dictator politicians with a trip to the voting booths.

  27. Sajy Skariah says:

    Please send me more information along with
    Free Radish Seed Packs to the following address.

    6914 Eastwood St
    Philadelphia, PA 19149

    Thank you

  28. Your background is a SWAT style flashbang if you’re sitting too close! I’m thinking of growing a red white and blue flower “patriot garden” in an area I don’t want to grow food (old burn pile) and i googled the phrase. good to see some love out there.

  29. mommygorun says:

    I am so inspired by this story! We live in Texas and in the apartment complex we live in, I don’t believe we’re allowed to plant or disrupt the landscaping within our fenced area, but now I’m looking into possibly using raised beds or pallet gardens that lean against the exterior walls. Any advice for those two options?

  30. jennie says:

    I like radish and tomto I like for any thing well we are moveing in a few month I hope I get to put out a big garden I would like you could send me think you

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