If I had to pick sides, I guess I’m anti-lawn. Come summer the small patch of land in front of our Ann Arbor home turns into a micro-garden of pole beans, potatoes and tomatoes, with orange cosmos towering in the narrow strip between the sidewalk and street. Much of our back yard is filled with an herb garden, flowers and, of course, a teeter totter.
So when Doug Cowherd of the local Sierra Club chapter contacted The Chronicle about a dispute between Pittsfield Township and a homeowner who’d been issued a citation over the condition of his yard, I was prepared to sympathize with anyone who challenges the suburbian status quo.
And then, on Feb. 5, I sat on a hard bench through 7.5 hours of testimony in Judge Cedric Simpson’s court. I heard an awful lot about cultivation, weeds, native gardens, organic gardeners, neighbors, township ordinances and the definition of hearsay. I watched a drama unfold that revealed how, in the search for a righteous cause, truth can be inconveniently difficult to discern.