Florida couple’s front-yard garden legal after 6-year battle

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Hermine Ricketts, Tom Carroll

Homeowners Hermine Ricketts, right, and Tom Carroll chat as they speak to members of the media, Monday, July 1, 2019, in Miami Shores, Fla. The Miami-area couple 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)

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MIAMI SHORES, Fla. (AP) — A Miami-area couple whose front-yard vegetable garden prompted a 6-year legal battle with their village has held a ceremonial replanting of veggies under a new Florida law legalizing such gardens statewide.

Sixty-three-year-old Hermine Ricketts and her 60-year-old husband Tom Carroll planted jalapenos, green bell peppers and other vegetables on Monday when the bill went into effect. Miami Shores previously made such front yard gardens punishable by a daily fine of $50 on grounds they were unsightly and violated zoning codes.

Miami Shores told Ricketts to remove her garden in 2013, prompting their lengthy lawsuit. An appeals court backed the village, but then the Legislature stepped in to legalize the gardens.

Republican state Sen. Rob Bradley sponsored the bill.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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