Why?

garden1Why did we plant our Patriot Garden?  Because we have a constitutional right to grow our own food peacefully on our own private property.  And because it just makes sense.

The U.S. and Florida constitutions protect our property rights from arbitrary invasions.  Insisting that we grow grass instead of a vegetable plant is irrational and beyond the scope of government power.  The city should not only withdraw its demands that we tear up our garden, but amend its zoning code to allow more people to take our lead.

Growing a garden is as old as civilization and deeply rooted in the American experience.  During both World Wars, Americans were encouraged to plant their own “Victory Gardens,” which were an economical way to increase the nation’s food supply.  It makes little sense that something that was once  considered a patriotic duty should now be against the law.  The garden ban is especially ironic because Orlando aspires to be the “Greenest City in America.” (From In Orlando, You Can’ t Grow Your Own Garden.)

It is easy to S.E.E. all the sustainable benefits that Patriot Gardens provide.

Social

Gardens Build Community.  See Our Garden.

Healthy food.  You are guaranteed highly nutriant-dense food that has no toxins, GMOs, or other chemicals – and with a garden in your front yard, you’re encouraged to eat more vegetables on a daily basis.

Active outdoor lifestyle.  Getting outdoors and working in a garden will change your life for the better.  Your interaction with nature and connection to the Earth will change your perspective of the world.

No wars over oil Jason’s brother died with so many in the Middle East over oil.  Bring our families back home and stop our dependence on oil.  Don’t just say it; support our troops by planting a Patriot Garden.

Doing your part “Green is the most patriotic, capitalistic, farsighted thing (American’s) can do for their kids and their country.”  (Discovery Channel, “Green: Red, White & Blue.”)

Environmental

Reduce carbon footprint A typical vegetable rides on up to 20 pieces of machinery to get from the ground to your table.  How many miles did it travel and for how long?  Now consider a vegetable from your Patriot Garden.  It just does not get any better than that.

Save water.  Americans use between 50 – 60% of their potable water (which has a high cost and carbon footprint) for watering their lawns, which produces nothing useful.  Rainwater harvesting saves our drinking water.

Eliminate energy consumption.  How much energy does the typical vegetable use in order to get from the ground to your door?  Plant a Patriot Garden and make it zero!

Land stewardship Nearly all faiths regard land stewardship as a duty and obligation, to “keep and care” for creation.

Sustain ecosystems.  A Patriot Garden can be a self-sustaining ecosystem with a variety of organisms and benefits.

Minimize light pollution.  Every piece of machinery the typical vegetable utilizes needs lights.  Drive by a sugar cane processing plant in the dark and see if you do not think a U.F.O. is landing.  Bring back the stars at night.

Protect trees.  We can stop mowing down forests for more farms or more fuel by growing our food at home.

Decrease waste. Composting completes the life cycle back to the start, cradle-to-cradle instead of cradle-to-grave.  But ask yourself how much food packaging you throw away a day?  Stop adding to Mount Trashmore.

Improve air quality.  By doing all of the above, our air will regain its purity.  Plants absorb carbon and release oxygen – so you will always breathe easier in your Patriot Garden.

Economic

Community-based local food system.  See the Community-Based Local Food System Plan that we (with the help of many others) proposed to the city of Orlando.  It is about our community controlling our food – not the government.

Food income Stop worrying about if you have enough money to pay for expensive organic food, when you can have all that you want without having to spend the money.  We actually had to start a new category in our budget!

Food trade.  Food is a commodity, a human necessity.  We trade food for almost anything.  As the recent drought impacts our food prices, trading food can be an obvious choice.

Reduce health costs.  Processed food, pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, and polluted water are all proving to impact our health system in a multitude of ways.  Eliminating all that while getting exercise will reduce health costs drastically.

Reduce transportation costs.  The garden becomes your exercise, your grocery, your socializing, and your hobby; all without having to drive anywhere.  Also, if fewer vehicles are needed to get your food to your table, then costs like gas and road taxes do not go up as fast either.

Sustainism.   Sustainism can be a win, win, win approach to capitalism.  We win socially, environmentally, and economically.  Our economic system must win for everyone or it will not sustain, let alone Thrive.

9 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Having a garden is one of the best things you can do for the environment and yourself. Having grass is one of the bad things you do for your environment, since it promotes runoff, is often dosed with toxic chemicals, which end up contaminating water, adds to the greenhouse effect, and takes the place of native plants that could feed birds and animals, many of which are becoming endangered. If we want to do something for the public good, ban any non-native grass and don’t allow mowing more than twice a year.

  2. Leslie says:

    Thanks for going to bat for growing your own and all that entails. Been going on for centuries and time to go back that way. Much hope, all positive vibes, and big hugs!

  3. I’m from Utah and I just learned about your fight for food freedom. You’re a great example of true patriotism for the rest of the country. Don’t give up the fight! If you start a petition, maybe on whitehouse.gov., I would love to sign it.

  4. garwoodv6 says:

    I heard about this on a blog sponsored by “disqus”. What a pathetic little bunch in the Orlando city Council! Sounds to me like they are just griping about your clay pots…
    I wish you the best of luck in changing the minds of the city servants that are giving you this trouble, and encourage you in your efforts to popularize the home garden concept. Why wouldn’t fruits and vegetables be just as attractive as any other plants in your yard? Front, side, or back yard- it doesn’t matter!
    I am in Houston, Texas, and to this day many gardens exist much as they had throughout the 1900’s. Most are visible from the road, and often extend along the side of the house to the street. some actually occupy the front yards, much like yours.

  5. David Parrish says:

    I just saw your plight on Facebook and I totally support your rights to grow your own garden! I’m so glad you all didn’t just throw in the towel when the Big Guy A.KA. “City Govt” came stomping on your door!

    Just wanted to wish you all success and hope your garden brings years and years of healthy foods for you and your family.

    Suggestion: If the city govt keeps on, you guys should start a petition (online & local). I live in NC in the mountains where we are blessed with really fertile grounds and lots of people where we live still grow gardens.

    Good luck! :-)
    Parrish Family
    Franklin, NC

  6. AP57 says:

    Keep up the fight to fight off our keepers! Here is a site that will guide you through the painful awakening ahead. Good luck, God bless and Godspeed.

  7. Tom Jefferson says:

    I think this is properly called a victory garden.

  8. Karen says:

    With almost 12,000 code violations cited just in Orange County, code enforcement has gone wild and become a big bully to the people of the community. The epidemic is evident in the City as well. Seminole is not immune either. Change the laws, BY the people FOR the people is my understanding.

  9. Gabrielle says:

    Mount Trashmore …. Lol
    Fabulous and so true.

    You folks would be great neighbors. :)
    I would garden and laugh too. Plant more
    edible flowers. Maybe your neighbor like flowers.

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