GOD AND LAWN CARE. A conversation with St. FrancisGOD SAID: “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it—sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have created a new cycle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ Lord. It’s a story about …

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis


Summer is back and time to start not-digging in the garden!!

We have had a pretty nice winter, all things considered, and spring was quite pleasant, as well. We had enough rain and puddles to keep my youngest daughter enjoying the new rubber boots she got.

The nights have still been a little chilly, so I am holding out until next weekend to plant the tomato plants we bought, but I am hoping to get things in place so I can start planting in my raised beds. I had hoped to get to this earlier, but I have been dragging my feet. i have been wanting to use the no-dig approach to gardening for a while now. When I read The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka, I felt like I was coming home to what I intuitively had felt for many years. Since then, I have read the works of a number of other gardeners who have been using this method. There are a number of them who have been doing this for 20+ years, so it has proven itself. I would highly recommend watching the Back to Eden film. This full-length movie is available for free viewing online and follows Paul Gautschi’s journey towards a simple and sustainable growing system. According to those who have visited his farm, his produce is incredible. I think visiting his farm will be  something that I  have to add to my bucket list. You can visit the website here. In case you have trouble locating the link on the website to watch the movie, here is a link to the Back to Eden film.

Jumping in and getting started on something I have never done before is not my strong-suit. In fact, my kids like to tease me about how long it takes me to make up my mind about things. In my defense, I just like to gather as many details as possible before embarking on a project so I don’t have to go back in and fix things afterwards. I don’t feel like I have all the information to start on converting our garden over, however, that may be because this is really so simple and I am just trying to make it complicated. So this will be the week that  the rubber hits the road, or in this case I guess I should say the wood chips hit the dirt.


Good-bye to Summer and Tomato & Cucumber Salad on Petite Heirloom Lettuce

I had a hard time this year saying good-bye to summer. It did come rather late this year, but it ran on into September and made me appreciate that we homeschool even more. We were even able to sneak in … Continue reading