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City of Orlando orders man to dig up vegetable garden

November 13, 2012
WESH – Orlando
11/12/2012
Source …..

Jason Helvenston fights order

The city of Orlando has ordered a College Park man to get rid of the vegetable garden in his front yard, calling it a code violation.

Jason Helvenston said he never dreamed his garden would get him in trouble, and he is refusing to get rid of it.

He said the garden saves his household hundreds of dollars in groceries, and it’s a source of pride.

The city left a notice on Helvenston’s door saying the garden showed “failure to maintain ground covers.” The notice said to dig up the garden by Nov. 7 or actions would be taken.

Helvenston said he thought the notice was a joke at first.

Now, he’s trying to get clarification on what exactly “ground cover” is.

“It is hard times. We need good healthy vegetables, and this is how we are doing it, and there shouldn’t be anything illegal about it,” Helvenston said.

A friend’s Facebook campaign got Helvenston’s fight featured on treehugger.com, and he has a petition drive going.

“I think the government has a lot better things to do than wasting time with my vegetable garden,” he said.

The city has canceled a scheduled hearing about his garden, and it has now assigned a task force to figure it out.

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