Florida couple celebrates closure of 6-year legal battle over vegetable garden

No small potatoes here! One Florida couple is celebrating the abolishment of a controversial policy that banned vegetable gardens on residential properties, and with it, the end of a 6-year legal spat with their village.

On Monday, Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll planted jalapenos, green bell peppers and other veggies in the front-yard garden of their Miami Shores home in honor of the news, NPR reports.

Homeowners Hermine Ricketts, right, and Tom Carroll chat as they speak to members of the media, July 1, 2019, in Miami Shores, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Homeowners Hermine Ricketts, right, and Tom Carroll chat as they speak to members of the media, July 1, 2019, in Miami Shores, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Back in 2013, Ricketts was forced to uproot a plot she tended for 17 years when a zoning ordinance forbade front yard gardens, as per NPR, on the grounds that they violated zoning codes and were unsightly. The offense was punishable by a daily fine of $50.

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Ari Bargil, right, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, helps homeowner Tom Carroll, left, plant a pepper plant in Carroll's front yard. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Ari Bargil, right, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, helps homeowner Tom Carroll, left, plant a pepper plant in Carroll's front yard. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The 63-year-old woman and her 60-year-old husband, meanwhile, challenged the ruling in court.

An appeals court backed the village of Miami Shores, while the Legislature intervened in hopes of legalizing the gardens.

Fast-forward to the present, and the Miami-area couple couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

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"I'm grateful to the Legislature and the governor for standing up to protect my freedom to grow healthy food on my own property,” Ricketts said.

The homeowners held a ceremonial replanting of vegetables in their front yard as legislation to allow such gardens statewide went into effect July 1, following their long court battle to challenge a Village of Miami Shores' prohibition on front yard gardens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The homeowners held a ceremonial replanting of vegetables in their front yard as legislation to allow such gardens statewide went into effect July 1, following their long court battle to challenge a Village of Miami Shores' prohibition on front yard gardens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

"Gardening is wonderful," she told the Miami Herald. "I feel victory. ... I have no words."

The bill was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Rob Bradley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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