Memphis garden attacked as public nuisance
Here's the original Memphis Flyer story:
But with no visible trash or garbage and plants kept off the sidewalk and driveway, Guerrero doesn't understand why a judge would bring his operation to a halt.
"These are direct applications to math, biology, engineering," says Guerrero, who uses his garden as a sort of continuing education for Jovantae, Jarvis, and Shaquielle, the latter of whom is a former student of Guerrero's at Kingsbury High School. Jovantae and Jarvis attend the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (MASE). "I'm proud to know that the students I work with are probably the only students in Memphis City Schools who know how to make their own biodiesel," Guerrero says.
With the glycerin by-product from the biodiesel, the kids have learned to make soap. They suit up in beekeeping gear and harvest honey. They fill worm bins with kitchen scraps from Central BBQ and Huey's — a contract they have with Project Greenfork — and watch as it turns into nutrient-rich soil. Guerrero and the boys have also installed solar panels at the Midtown North Community Garden.
"One aspect of the schools is teaching that every child should be college-bound but [without] teaching them any skills. The kids don't even know how to use a ruler. I'm taking a different approach and teaching them skills," says Guerrero, who has his students at Raleigh-Egypt help with the garden as well, using geometry and basic tools to help craft worm bins, beehives, and small greenhouses from recycled materials.
Jovantae, a junior at MASE, estimates that he and his friends spend three or four days at the garden when school is out and at least one day a week during the school year. They are none too pleased with the judge's decision.
"I don't understand why it's a problem if it's in the backyard," says Shaquielle, a senior at Kingsbury. "We like coming here. We don't want it to go away."
Well, Shaquielle, a cynic would say that's why they're trying to take it away. Assholes.