Did you know that in the US lawns cover 50,000 square miles? That is more than three times the number of acres that irrigated corn covers, and more than any single farm crop. Not only that but it uses 60 per cent of all the water that comes out of the tap and 70 million pounds of herbicides and pesticides are sprayed on to it annually which then seep into the water system. Home owners will go to great lengths to have a uniform, shortly cut, bright green lawn. (I have even seen informercials for a green paint spray you can spray on dying grass to make it seem alive).
At home, we have no grass here in the yard, just my little organic veggie garden. I just planted a new crop for the fall of radishes, kale, beets, carrots and other yummy things. Grass is still a very popular and socially accepted sight on lawns but I wonder what would happen if we switched to turning our lawns, or at least part of them, into an area to grow some of our own food? I have never had a house with a large grassy back yard but if I did I would love to get myself a milk cow or something of the sort who could not only cut the grass for me but also provide me with fresh milk every morning (and a great conversation starters at dinners). I would have to call her Betsy or Daisy…but that is slightly besides the point. In our old neighbourhood in the UK it was illegal to keep chickens in the backyard because they woke all the neighbours up too early in the morning. But it would be nice not to have to go to the store for eggs either.
If we are looking for something to do for the planet, anything as home owners, perhaps the first place we should look is the grass in our yards?