Actually, it may have been more of a neglectful “lawnslaughter“. It’s has been quite dead for a number of years, thanks to a fungal infection on the sod. We didn’t know much about grass, and by the time we found out our lawn had a death sentence, it was too late to do anything about it (unless we wanted to invest many dollars and hours into its resurrection). At first, we were hoping that maybe some nice green weeds would grow that we could just mow once in a while. But that only happened sporadically, and we ended up with more of a dustbowl than soft greenery. Then, last year, I came across a book at the library called Edible Estates: Attack On The Front Lawn by Diana Balmori and Fritz Haeg. The more I read about how you can commit herbicide in order to plant something useful as well as ornamental, such as a vegetable garden, the more it started to make sense.
Let’s face it: we live in the Pine Barrens. Read: barrens. Grass ain’t supposed to grow here. And when it does, it’s with lots of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides that wash down the sewer and directly into the Barnegat Bay, which is suffering much like the Chesapeake from “overdevelopment” ( i.e. lawn chemicals and dumping, R.I.P. to the beloved Chesapeake Bay Crab). But with plenty of compost and organic fertilizers, many useful plants that aren’t as high-maintenance grow well here. The local bees would like it, since they have nothing to make honey out of on a lawn devoid of “weeds” such as dandelions (and there’s the concern that monoculture-the growing of only one type of plant for miles- is contributing to the current “bee blight”). And did I mention that our front yard gets all the sun?
Oh, yeah- and we run a food blog and LOVE to talk about how yummy it is to “eat local”. How much more local can you get than your front yard?
So, last weekend, we rented that Rototiller and went medieval on the pathetic remains of our lawn. We regret nothing your honor! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
At our house, however (as in Buddhism), there is no death without rebirth. Check out our darling little seedlings, only a few weeks old:
Yellow squash, zucchini, watermelon, pumpkin, tomatoes, basil, thyme, dill, etc. Now, we fertilize, turn the soil, plant, nurture and wait. And pray. And then, hopefully (as we are always looking to do): eat.
Eating our front yard. Yum!