An illegal garden? An Interview With Sean Law


Over a week ago, my dad sent me an article on Longwood homeowner Sean Law and his battle to restore his piece of the Earth to a healthy ecosystem.

When I saw the piece, I felt a quick connection to the guy, particularly when he mentioned Fukuoka as an influence. So, after some finagling, I managed to reach him personally for an interview.

Before I caught up with him via phone the first time, I wondered if he was going to be one of those “crazies” that simply won’t abide by the rules or make friends with neighbors, etc. You know, the kind of guy that fixes cars late at night with pneumatic wrenches while cranking up AC/DC, or the gal that stuffs her house with piles of newspapers and dead cats.

Sean Law’s inspiration, Masanobu Fukuoka

Instead, I found Sean to be more caring about people that you would imagine, considering his current battle with the city of Longwood. He’s unassuming, friendly, coherent and well-versed in Florida law. He also has a deep love for the environment and the many creatures that inhabit it, right down to the microorganisms in the soil.

His focus, rather than being on the way things are clunking along right now and on the codes that keep us in a cycle of cropping and poisoning… is on the future of humanity and our planet.

Here he is, in his own words:

Sign his petition by clicking here.

UPDATE: After this interview, I was able to visit Sean Law’s illegal garden and found it to be a marvelous place filled with life. Unfortunately, the city has now taken his house from him. Not all battles end as well as others. The Helvenston garden fight was won… but Law’s was lost.

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  • Very interesting. The idea of "sudden ecosystem collapse" strikes me. Reading Nassim Taleb's book "Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder", it sure seems the way we treat our local environment is a perfect picture of this: choosing an overly-ordered, fragile approach which is subject to quite sudden collapse. It's the short-sighted pursuit of a few perceived benefits while ignoring the many potential downsides.

  • I’m new to your channel, and what a bittersweet pleasure to hear my thoughts come out of an expert’s mouth:worry over decreasing diversity; finding suburban lawns and landscaping to be a little horrifying; fretting about things like overuse of oleander. I say “bittersweet” because while it’s nice to know I’m not just an aging crank alone with my eccentric thoughts, the diminished diversity I have witnessed is frightening.

    Oh, and the persistent herbicides you talk about? They are completely Satanic. Thanks for calling that like it is.

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