A weed to one is tea and tincture to another | Local Government

This is a garden, even though nothing is planted in neat rows.

There are a few carrots over here, a few more over there. Some turnips and a bed of garlic in the front yard between the sidewalk and the street.

Two neighbor ladies, born in Vietnam, harvest the garlic chives for their soups.

Raspberry bushes are scattered around the front and side yard, whose leaves can be made into teas and tinctures that help balance estrogen levels and relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Anyone can pick fresh berries off the bushes on a walk past the house at 11th and Rose streets.

Though the yard may appear uncared for, some thought went into the plants. 

Nettles, known by most for their stings, grow in the front yard and are used in stir fries by the folks who live in the house. Nettles can help with thyroid issues, allergies, arthritis. Just Google it and you’ll find many uses, says Hana Zara, one of the eclectic group of artists and environmentalists who call the house with the wild lawn their home.

The group harvested and cooked asparagus for several months this spring, then allowed the plants to grow up and go to seed, so there would be more asparagus next year.

However, some of the neighbors — particularly those with green, crew-cut front yards — aren’t enamored with the corner lot, filled to the brim with plants of various sizes and shapes, and have complained to the Lancaster County Weed Control Authority.

Last year, the Weed Control Authority had the yard cut back and sent the owner a $475 bill after about a dozen people complained and no one at the house answered official letters.

Weed Control Authority Superintendent Brent Meyer said the yard “was out of control” last year.

This year, Weed Control Authority staff were able to contact residents of the house, who gave them a tour of their yard last week. This time, the yard got…

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