Front yard gardens

in news/town square

Home gardeners have been tracking a particular bill through the Florida Legislature this session. Florida Sen. Robert Bradley (R.- District 5) introduced the SB 82 after a south Florida man was told to remove his front yard garden or incur daily fines. The Florida Senate passed SB 82 on March 21, 2019 and a related bill, HB 145 was approved by the House of Representatives on May 1st and awaits Gov. DeSantis’s signature.

Impact: This bill will affect folks who want to garden at home. Prior to this action, local governments could ban residents from growing food in their front yards.

Why should you and your neighbors garden?

  • Aesthetics: Gardens create a lovely and interesting-looking community. Gardeners design unique landscapes, often combining traditional landscaping concepts with a broad palette of color and diverse purpose.
  • Biodiversity: Home landscapes often seem to combine the same few plants over and over, but the yard of an avid gardener attracts attention. How? Successful gardeners know the importance of a thriving local ecosystem and include a wide variety of plants.
  • Pollinators: Have you read about bees and butterflies dying off and wondered how you can help? Gardeners know that their flowering fruit trees will not produce fruit without pollinators and so they learn to protect the insects that are part of our food supply chain. Gardeners create healthy ecosystems, planting flowers to attract pollinators.
  • Health: Gardening not only helps the environment, it also helps people. Gardeners benefit from the healthy food they produce– but the act of gardening is also exercise. Fresh food from local gardens is an opportunity for a healthier “you.”
  • Fun! Gardeners love to share. Sharing plants, flowers and food brings opportunity not only for learning, but also for connection and community. Consider joining local gardening groups, plant swaps and community gardens as a way to gain knowledge and make new friends.

Get started with home gardening

Tanja Vidovic, mother to three girls, is an artist, bicyclist, environmentalist, community activist and a City of Tampa paramedic. Tanja manages a 9000-member garden group. She has planted seven community orchards in Tampa Bay, including the Folly Farms Community Orchard. Tanja co-hosts Sustainable Living on WMNF 88.5 radio. Catch her there every other Monday- or through the Sustainable Safety HarborFacebook group.