instant gramming

April 27, 2008

No mow!

Just mowed the back lawn. Not sure why. Obviously, it was an effort to comply (at the eleventh hour) with the lawn laws of our municipality. As I was mowing, I was thinking one thing: "mowed lawns are terrible and ugly." Compared to the scattered clumps of uneven grass, dandelions, and common violets, a mowed lawn is a lifeless carpet; a barren desert. It offers no habitat, no food, and no refuge for almost all native Ohio wildlife. I say "almost all" because I realize there are some invertebrates at the interface of topsoil and atmosphere, protected in the dense forests of turf grass, and in the tangled mats of roots there. Dandelions [interesting note: the name comes from the French phrase, dents de lion, or "teeth of the lion"] offer nourishment for bees and other insects and are well adapted for frequently mowed lawns that don't have frequent applications of pounds of herbicide.
The other evil half of mowed lawns is the air pollution caused by conventional gas-powered mowers. Supposedly, 54 million Americans mow their lawns each weekend and use 800 million gallons of gas annually (Source). Can you imagine how much air pollution that equals? Good, because I don't want to figure it out. It would only depress me. As a new homeowner, I was pressed to purchase lawn equipment to manicure my first suburban yard. After reading many mixed reviews about human-powered reel-mowers, I settled on a $20 gas-powered option found on Craigslist. Since last July, our lawn has been mowed maybe 5 times. That sucks. I hope that C and I will gradually replace most of our lawn with native-plant garden space (a.k.a. wildlife habitat and smörgåsbord). I imagine the front yard bordered with prairie flowers; the back yard, with...more prairie flowers? And vegetables!
Anyways, this rant won't be very conclusive. I wanted to vent my disdain towards mowed lawns, and the bitterness I feel toward out-dated suburban tradition...

In other news: I lost my phone on a bike ride! (Call me so I can add your number to my contact list!) Also, we are finally plugging plants into our gardens. Currently, the tomatoes seem to be settling in, a few pepper plants have claimed a spot, and yellow summer squash have been given copious space to stretch out and soak up the sun. A ton of strawberries plants now have flowers and I'm excited to think of all the fruits we'll be able to use in smoothies, ice-cream, and yogurt.

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