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Urban farmers consider new home vegetable garden law groundbreaking

Florida homeowners can now officially grow vegetable gardens in their front yards.

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — Living in a big city has its pros and cons when it comes to fresh leafy greens. Depending on where you live, you can get a clean head of lettuce at your local grocery store, take a trip to the weekend farmer’s market, or grow seasonal greens in your backyard. And now that municipalities throughout Florida can no longer regulate where homeowners plant their vegetable gardens on their property, you can now grow a bountiful crop of fruits and veggies in your front yard.

On July 1, a new law went into effect -- allowing residential property owners to plant their produce anywhere on their property. 

The new legislation came after homeowners in Miami Shores fought for nearly six years to legally plant their vegetable garden in front of their home. The Senate voted 35–5, and the House voted 93-16.

St. Petersburg native Elise Pickett, founder of The Urban Harvest, considers the new law groundbreaking.

“I’m really excited because a lot of my clients I work with may only have sun in their front yards. Now, we can utilize and access the space,” she explained.

Picket branched out into gardening entrepreneurship six years ago. Her primary goal is to teach people how to grow their own vegetable gardens at home.

“I do workshops and classes all over the city and Southern Pinellas [County],” Pickett said.

You can find Pickett teaching at Sacred Lands and Sunken Gardens; and she also has a small produce garden on a little plot of land at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla.

In the following video, Pickett explains why she dug into the business of city farming.

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