Update: Judge Larry Potter told Adam Guerrero that he may keep his Memphis garden if he makes a few changes, including keeping the front yard trimmed and reducing the number of worm bins on his property. Read more at the Memphis Flyer.
Adam Guerrero keeps a garden in his Memphis yard, where the math teacher’s students come over to help tend the eggplant, tomato and pepper plants. Around back, there are worm bins, rainwater barrels and beehives. The students make biodiesel and soap in the garage.
This tiny ecosystem has been ordered destroyed.
Judge Larry Potter upheld the violation, he said, because a neighbor complained that the compost bins attracted rats, WREG in Memphis reports. A local man interviewed said he believes it’s the nearby graveyard that attracts the pests.
The garden also violated the rule that “all exterior property areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.” The Memphis Flyer did not find evidence of this.
Guerrero is being backed up by thousands, including Kristen Heath. She created the blog “Save Adam’s Garden,” where interested parties can donate money for Guerrero’s legal fees. A petition has been started on the increasingly influential Change.org. It has garnered more than 5,500 signatures.
If the odd idea of an illegal garden sounds familiar, it is. Julie Bass faced jail time in July for refusing to remove her Michigan garden, which was found not “suitable.” The charges were later dropped.
Guerrero will appear in court Friday to show that he has removed the garden. In the meantime, his supporters will keep pushing for his garden to stay firmly planted.
Watch a news report on the garden from WREG in Memphis.