I am The Tattooed Homestead

I have an overdeveloped sense of fairness!
I have no idea where I got it.  
I believe that the Truth will always win over a lie, that the little guy will always beat the big mean corporation, and that when the story ends everything will be as it should be.

But sometimes, things bring darkness into my rose colored world.

So this is how it begins …

In the last month, we have been given three warnings by Miami-Dade Code Enforcement for a laundry list of issues like having cardboard boxes, tarps, tools, and “other junk and trash scattered around” the property.

Courtesy of Dade County Planning and Zoning
This is not The Tattooed Homestead
When we called, they informed us it was illegal to have potted plants and potting soil in a residential property.

I shared our story ( Potted Plants are Illegal: Why YOU Can’t Grow Your Own Food In Miami-Dade County ) and it got picked up by the New Times ( Potted Garden in Your Yard? Prepare to Pay a Fine! )

Someone pointed out:

But wait. You guys do run a business out of your home selling plants and plant products. At least that’s what it seems like to me all over social media. I don’t see how anyone could think you arw being picked on when this is clear.

The truth is that we don’t.

Are we a nursery? Not by any means.

We sell to friends and family and other liked minded souls who believe in growing your own food but may not have the resources or the time.

But this is not The Tattooed Homestead.

We’ve been staying here for just over two months, helping out with an ailing Grandmother and planting every edible we can get our hands on.  My mom planned to sell this family home to us one day and let us start the permaculture process now.  But as chance would have it, those plans will more than likely never come to fruition.  

This is not The Tattooed Homestead

Our business is run out of a family home in Flagami.

This is not The Tattooed Homestead either.  Not really, anyway.

This is my husband’s childhood home, where his family has allowed us to take over the yard and grow odds and ends here and there.

So then where the heck is it?

The Tattooed Homestead is real.  At least, it is to me and my husband, and I hope it one day will be to our baby boy.

The Tattooed Homestead is:

… the idea of living sustainably and not hurting the planet while you’re doing it.  It is the idea of leaving the earth a better place than when you got here.  It is the idea that I want my child to know how food grows in the garden and not think that it comes from McDonalds.  It is that I want my child to believe that the Truth will always win over a lie, that the little guy will always beat the big mean corporation, and that when the story ends everything will be as it should be.  


… and if he falls victim to having an overdeveloped sense of fairness … then I will know I definitely did something right!

I know I’m not like everybody else.

I think that’s ok.

Right now, The Tattooed Homestead only exists in my mind … and on the internet.  One day, it may be a real place.  It may be here or somewhere far away.  It won’t make much of a difference either way to be honest.

Some things will never change:

We will always grow using sustainable practices and ideas.  We will never use pesticides or treatments for our plants or for our bees.  We will always think with our hearts instead of our pocket books and we will always follow our hearts and let it guide us to what is right.  

Some people may think I’m crazy.

I think that’s ok, too.

It’s not the first time I have been called different or crazy and I truly hope it won’t be the last.

As for my overdeveloped sense of fairness, I may need to learn to live with the fact that I may never change the world … but no one said I couldn’t try!





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Talking to Miami-Dade County about Chickens and Bees

Trying to Get Answers

We have heard a lot of hearsay and rumors about keeping Chickens and Bees in Miami-Dade County and no one seems to know the full story including Miami-Dade County Employees.

Help us, by signing the Petition for Backyard Chickens here

Anyone who has grown up in Miami, has more than once seen chickens and roosters crossing the roads in the middle of the city.  So much so, that Miami had to reinstate the Chicken Busters after they had been “eliminated three years ago in a round of budget cuts”.

Everyone I asked had a different story.

  • You can have up to 15 Hens
  • You can have up to 4 Hens but no Roosters
  • You can’t have them at all 

The stories for keeping bees aren’t much clearer.  Most reactions run the gambit between fear and awe.

Recently, I was advised to call 311 and get to the bottom of the story … and so the odyssey begins.

Calling 311

When the phone was answered, I started with a polite “Good afternoon” as I expect I will get further being nice than by being rude.  I must have unsettled the person on the phone.  I continued and said “I am interested in getting more information on having Backyard Chickens”.  It’s not a usual question so I wasn’t surprised when she asked me to repeat myself. “I am interested in knowing the regulations for keeping chickens in your backyard”

“They’re not allowed” she stated as if she was letting me know the sky was blue and I should have known.

“Well, I am getting contradicting information from different sources,” I began to explain “I have heard that you can have 15 chickens, or 4 hens as long as you don’t have a rooster, or that you can’t have them at all so I just wanted to get to the bottom of the story.”

I think she took offense because she took a tone of exasperation and I assume pulled up the regulation which she read verbatim.

Tenants and homeowners that reside in a residential zoning district cannot raise or breed chickens, livestock or maintain beehives. 

Source http://gisims2.co.miami-dade.fl.us/MyNeighborhood/Help_Code_Violations.asp

I continued to ask if this had changed recently as I had seen documents online that said they were allowed.

Full document available at: http://hensinmia.blogspot.com/2013/09/miami-dade-once-allowed-15-hens-per.html

 She said she didn’t know but did offer that Code Enforcement might know more and to call them at (786) 315-2552.

Before I hung up, I thought to ask if she knew anything about keeping Bees and that if she knew about the recent Florida Law (source: http://news.wgcu.org/post/new-law-removes-local-control-backyard-beekeepers), but again she directed me to Code Enforcement as they would have more information.

Calling Code Enforcement

I called Code Enforcement and was briefly kept on hold before an exhausted Miami-Dade County Employee answered the phone.  Her voice exuded a lack of patience and interest that called forth pity rather than dismay.

I made a point of being as pleasant as possible as it sounded like she had suffered some terrible calamity as I began, “Hello, I am interested in knowing the regulations for Backyard Chickens?”

“Chickens are not allowed in a Residential Area” the technician stated dryly.

I continued, “Could you tell me when this changed because I found that …”

Click.  

I will assume we had phone issues and not that the technician from Miami-Dade County Code Enforcement, who is paid by my tax dollars to be available to answer questions and assist county residents, hung up blatantly in face.

Calling Code Enforcement, again

So I called again.

This time, I started by introducing my self and getting the persons name.  She said that in the 20 years she had worked at Code Enforcement Chickens had never been allowed but to check on municode.com to confirm.

I continued to ask if she knew if homeowners could keep Beehives.

“If there is a beehive the homeowner has to have it removed” she replied.

“No, I mean like a beekeeper.”  I clarified.

“Like a business? Not if it’s a residential area” she asked and answered.

“Not even under Cottage Law?” I pressed.

She had not heard about Cottage Law so I explained that Florida Law allowed Food Sales out of the home as long as those sales did not surpass $15,000 in income.  (source: http://cottagefoods.org/laws/usa/florida/)

I think I confused her because her story changed a little.  “Like a home office, yes, that’s allowed”

I asked her if we didn’t find anything on municode.com if we should assume it wasn’t allowed.

… zoning ordinances in Miami-Dade are exclusionary codes, meaning if something is not permitted, as in this case of the single-family residential district zoning ordinance (Chapter 33, Article XIV of Miami-Dade ordinances), it is not allowed. 

Source http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2013/09/no_potted_gardens_on_residenti.php

She said she had never heard of that, so I read her the above excerpt.

“Well there you go” she responded.

I thanked her for her time and let her go as I knew she would not be able to provide me the answers I am looking for.

Now what?

I am no less confused and don’t feel that anyone I have spoken to as of yet has held enough of an understanding or interest in my question to answer me fully.

I am now reaching out to our Commissioners about our Illegal Potted Plants and trying to get answers about Chickens in Miami and Backyard Beekeeping.





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Article: Potted Garden in Your Yard? Prepare to Pay a Fine!

Our recent run in with Miami-Dade County Zoning Enforcement got picked up by the New Times





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Citizens detained in Miami-Dade County for Making Public Records Request

On Thursday, September 12, 2013, in the city of Hialeah, Mayor Carlos Hernandez and Mayoral Chief of Staff Arnie Alonzo have citizens detained in Miami-Dade County for Making Public Records Request.

We are on the verge of making a Public Records Request for our Potted Plants are Illegal issue, but this makes me very nervous about going.

“The crime was people were in fear”

There were too many people in their group?  Isn’t the right to assembly protected by the constitution? How many people is too many?

The Florida Public Records Law does not allow the custodian of the record to ask citizens to complete forms when making Public Records Requests.

There are major issues with transparency in ALL of MIAMI-DADE County!

What is going on here?





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Raw Milk Laws: Arkansas legalizes sale of raw milk directly from farms

source: Farm To Consumer

Thankfully, Florida seems to be at least reasonably enlighten about Raw Milk sales and at least allows it to be sold as Pet Food.  In my opinion, it’s more of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” kind of rule where once it’s in your house you do what you need to do with it as long as no one else find out.  We can only hope, as more states change to Green and Yellow, Florida will become more open to accept Raw Milk as the enzyme rich wonder food it is.

Summary of FLORIDA Raw Milk Statutes and Administrative Codes

Raw milk sales for human consumption are illegal. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services interprets the definition of “sell” in the state administrative code to extend the ban on raw milk sales to any cowshare agreements as well. Department of Agriculture policy permits the sale of raw milk for animal consumption even though there is no state law that covers this issue. The state permits raw milk sales for animal consumption either on the farm or in retail stores. Containers should have a label clearly stating that the raw milk is for animal consumption only.

source: Florida Raw Milk Laws

The actual statues, in case you have interest, read:

FLORIDA STATUTES

TITLE XXXIII REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS CHAPTER 502 MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS

502.091 MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS WHICH MAY BE SOLD.

(1) Only Grade A pasteurized milk and milk products or certified pasteurized milk shall be sold to the final consumer or to restaurants, soda fountains, grocery stores, or similar establishments.

FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES CHAPTER 5D-1 MILK, MILK PRODUCTS AND FROZEN DESSERTS

5D-1.001 DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE AND DEFINITIONS

(j) “Sold” means a transfer of milk or milk products that involves any direct or indirect form of compensation in exchange for the right to acquire such milk or milk products.

Learn more about what is going on in Arkansas:
Arkansas legalizes sale of raw milk directly from farms

Another great article:
FDA Says: Drinking This Natural Food is a Crime

Learn more about Florida Raw Milk Laws:
Florida Raw Milk Laws

Want to purchase some Florida Raw Milk:
Florida Raw Milk Laws





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Snails just love herbs in the garden – Plant Clinic – MiamiHerald.com


Local Gardener is having trouble with snails in the Garden.  

Read more here: Snails just love herbs in the garden – Plant Clinic – MiamiHerald.com





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Property Abandoned, Bees Nest and Then Attack. Who Is Responsible in South Florida?

Question: My neighbor abandoned his house to the bank and now bees have nested on the property. Who is responsible if someone gets attacked by a swarm of bees from the neighbor’s property?

Both the bank and the homeowner could be responsible, but only under several very limited circumstances.

Generally, the law does not require the owner or possessor of land to anticipate the presence of or guard against harm from wild animals, UNLESS such owner or possessor has reduced the animals to possession, harbors such animals, or has introduced them onto his premises when not indigenous to the area.

An owner or possessor of land may also be responsible if the wild animals are found in structures such as houses, billboards, or stores, and the owner knows or should know of the harm posed by the animals and the guest cannot realize or guard against the danger.

The law limiting liability for injuries caused by wild animals dates back to the Roman Empire whereby wild animals were presumed to be owned by no one specifically but by the people. This limitation of liability has been embraced by courts in the United States over the years because of the unpredictability and uncontrollably of wild animals.

Bees causing you a buzzing head ache?

The Tattooed Beekeeper can help you out!  Call him at 786-281-8324

About the Author

Michael Overbeck, the author of this article, is a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer with the firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser & Zoeller who has practiced law in south Florida since 1992. If you want to learn more about how bee or other wild animal attacks from a person’s property in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Port St. Lucie, or anywhere else in the state of Florida; or about many other real world legal issues in cases of car accidents, slip and fall cases, airplane accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home and ALF abuse, wrongful death, truck accidents, premises liability, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, products liability, toxic/mass tort litigation, insurance litigation, negligent security and other personal injury cases in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and throughout the state of Florida, you need to contact a firm with a level of expertise that yields results. That firm is Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser & Zoeller at http://www.shw-law.com.

We have 3 offices in south Florida. The first is located in the Barristers Building at 1615 Forum Place on the 4th Floor in West Palm Beach, 33401. Our second office is located at 240 NW Peacock Boulevard, Suite 103 in Port St. Lucie, 34986. And our 3rd office is located at 55 S. S.E. 2nd Avenue, 1st Floor, PMB # 16, Delray Beach, FL 33444. You can contact us at either the West Palm Beach or Port St. Lucie office through our toll free phone number, (800) 689-8180, or local phone number (561) 689-8180 or via email at admin@shw-law.com. Contact our Delray Beach location using that same email, or via phone at (561) 921-4979. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SoFLInjuryAttys. Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.




This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see our disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting The Tattooed Homestead.

Article: Contaminated Soil Found At Coconut Grove’s Blanche Park


Contaminated soil was found in Coconut Grove’s Blanche Park. 

 The soil samples contained “concentrations of dioxins, arsenic, barium, lead, copper and antimony’’ that exceeded levels allowed by county code.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/09/3616055/contaminated-soil-found-in-blanche.html





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Apple Reveals Details about New iPhone 5C, Questions Arise about Security of Finger Print Scanner

source: Apple

Everyone is buzzing about the Apple’s Press Release about the new iPhone 5C.

The phone will come in several new colors, including blue, pink and yellow, which should appeal to younger buyers. It will start at $99 on a two-year contract — the same price point that Apple used for its older iPhones.  It is also said to come with the enhancement of a fingerprint scanner for “added security”.

The fingerprint will make it easier to unlock your phone by “simply by placing your finger on top of the home button”. It will also make it easier to complete purchases in the iTunes store instead of entering a password every time you want to make a purchase.

“The good news is that fingerprints will only be stored on the phone, not in the cloud, and that’s really important.” said The Business Insider

There are still a lot of questions as to the nuts and blots of how the transactions are going to take places and where the information is going to be stored that Apple needs to answer.

But I’m still a bit leery considering Apple’s past (re: Apple Sued Over iPhone Tracking)

The saving grace is that if you don’t feel comfortable, Apple is planning to allow this feature to be turned off.


Resources:
“Apple unveils cheaper iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor – The Washington Post.” The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines – The Washington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/apple-likely-to-unveil-2-new-smartphones/2013/09/10/fe107898-1a1d-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html>.

“iPhone Fingerprint Tech Security – Business Insider.” Business Insider. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. <http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-fingerprint-tech-flaws-2013-9>.

“Apple – Press Info – Apple Announces iPhone 5s—The Most Forward-Thinking Smartphone in the World.” Apple. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. <http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/09/10Apple-Announces-iPhone-5s-The-Most-Forward-Thinking-Smartphone-in-the-World.html>.





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We Must Solider On: How to Grow Your Own Food – 9/8/2013 Garden Tally {Grow Food, Not Lawns}

We’ve had a rough week here at the homestead.  We were warned by Miami-Dade County and actually told by a County official that is illegal to have potted plants in containers (click here to read the rant that thus ensued).  We are feeling a little down and out but we must Solider On.  

No one said growing your own food would be easy!

We planted:

  • Mulberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Valencia Orange
  • Limequat
  • Calamodin
  • Pumpkin
  • English Lavender

I’m laying claim to some real estate near the front door for my herb garden.  I have Rosemary already planted and Basil in some near by containers, but I have a laundry list of herbs still waiting to be planted.

The Moringa Oleifera Fence is making progress.  We are planting using cuttings from our mother trees and the sproutlings seems to be doing well.  I also hope this will make them nice a fluffy to produce a nice full privacy fence.
We harvested lots of herbs to keep the plants producing and tried out some new recipes which I hope to share soon. 
We also had some friends help out and gave them our iron skillet so we are eyeing this set as a replacement. 

Currently 57% off at the time of posting!

What do you think?





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