From a superficial view, Hirsch's front yard does look neglected. But that's because he's cultivated every square inch. "I defy them to walk through this yard and find one six inch weed," Hirsch stated, as he worked on his garden. He acknowledged his front yard is no typical manicured lawn, which he derided as a "green desert."
|Jerusalem artichokes, a native species thought to help people with diabetes|
He cultivates the purple cone flower, believed by many to stimulate the immune system. He also grows the Jerusalem artichoke, a species of sunflower native to North America. Its tubers lack the starch that exists in potatoes. It contains inulin, which may help people suffering from diabetes.
Hirsch even has a pawpaw tree, whose fruit was George Washington's favorite dessert.
|Not the typical manicured lawn|
But according to Lehigh Township Zoning Officer Laura Harrier, Hirsch is a nuisance in violation of Lehigh Township's weed ordinance. That local law prohibits any growth of grass or weeds over six inches high. Interestingly, the Township ordinance defines weeds as inedible plants.
After a hearing before District Judge Robert Hawke, Hirsch was found to be in violation of the weed ordinance.
Hirsch plans to appeal. "My yard might be unorthodox, but I'm not trying to flout the law," he explained..
It also appears to include healthy edible plants that existed before Lehigh Township or its weed ordinance existed.