The GREAT American Lawn!

in homesteading •  last year


Picture from: https://thegoodhuman.com

I was going to write a brilliant blog on the effects of having a lawn. As I was looking for the right picture (above), I fortuitously came upon a website that says plenty about lawns!!! I will copy and paste their 10 points, but please go to their website to read what they say about each point. The link is below.

  1. Grass lawns waste water.
  2. Grass lawns waste energy.
  3. Lawns waste time.
  4. Lawns are a waste of space.
  5. Lawns cause air pollution.
  6. Lawns encourage the use of fertilizers and lawn treatments that are hazardous to people, animals, and water.
  7. Lawns waste money.
  8. Lawns can be dangerous to maintain.
  9. Lawns kill.
  10. Lawns are damaging our hearing.

https://thegoodhuman.com/10-reasons-you-dont-need-a-grass-lawn/

I am turning my yard into a wildlife habitat which means planting all native plants and creating special safe spaces for small animals and birds to hide in and to nest in. There will be less and less lawn space in my yard. In addition to the 10 points above, I find lawns useless. As I walked around my one acre yard today, I took pictures of some plants that are spontaneously growing in my "lawn". I haven't mowed it yet this year, although my neighbors have mowed theirs. You see, my lawn is covered with tiny pinkish/white flowers. I refuse to mow them down. They are called Springbeauties (Claytonia virginica).

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Springbeauties are native plants in the American northeast. They belong here. The whole plant is edible. Native Americans had many medicinal uses for this plant. To me, it's like a little soldier standing its ground in the face of annihilation by the whole neighborhood who mow them down and call them weeds. That is pure ignorance. These little plants have a place in nature. The toxic lawn be damned.

There are other beautiful native and useful plants that pop up in my lawn which I also save. One is a purple/blue violet (Viola soraria).

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Viola soraria is the larval host plant for the Great Spangled Fritillary but they are not the only insect that finds them delicious.

Quote from: https://extension.psu.edu/underused-native-plants-common-blue-violets

They are fully edible to humans and also have medicinal uses. I am going to use them as ground cover in shady places.
Interestingly, they are the state flower of New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island & Wisconsin! I live in New Jersey.

The last native plant I will mention, which I photographed this morning, is wild garlic (Allium canadense). These get mowed down violently in those Great American Lawns! I dig them up and use them in cooking. They are also delicious raw. I don't like garlic as a rule, but these are above and beyond anything I have ever tasted!

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These wild plants are gifts!!! We've been so focused on our toxic lawns that we throw away wonderful wild flowers gifted to us. We are blessed. There are so many wildflowers and plants that we trash as weeds. How ungrateful of us!!! And we replace them with vast expanses of land covered in useless lawns saturated with toxic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that render the soil full of poisoning chemicals.

Please consider doing more useful things with your lawn, such as planting native flower gardens, growing vegetables, but if you have used many chemicals over a long time, you will have to do a lot of soil rebuilding.

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Your lawn looks very pretty. I think we have been programmed into having a green lawn, there is a whole industry focused on it.

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You're way right! It's the same thing with planting "exotic" plants in our yards, They come from all around the world and are sold in all the garden centers. But many become invasive and they don't help our wildlife and pollinators. It harms our local environment like those crazy lawns do.

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In Australia lantana was introduced and has caused a lot of damage to the natural flora. It has caused a huge amount of economic and environmental damage.

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OH! Thank you very much!

Love those spring beautys! So pretty!

I turned my lawn into an herb garden. :))

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You have an appreciation for beauty and what makes the most sense! That's great!

We have tons of violets here too! My friend makes violet syrup from them... mmmmmm

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Oh wow, Derek! Do you think I could get the recipe?