NATIONAL – Beyond Blades of Grass

New York Times: Beyond Blades of Grass
“… the ground beneath our lawns is capable of so much more than just grass.”
By Paul Bogard
June 16, 2017

The other night, mowing my lawn for the first time this spring, I was instantly transported back to my childhood. “I love that smell,” I later said to my fiancée, and didn’t have to explain; we were two suburban-raised Minnesota kids for whom the scent of freshly cut grass has long confirmed winter’s end. Like many an American teenager, I had a monopoly on mowing my neighborhood’s lawns, coming home most summer days with inch-long clippings clinging to socks and grass-stained shoes. I learned to see the perfect lawn as a lush monochrome carpet of Kentucky bluegrass, trimmed and deep green.

I see the perfect lawn differently now. I still see the wide expanses of green, but I also see the high cost of keeping these nonnative monocultures growing: the wasted water, the overuse of fossil-fuel fertilizers, the threats to human and environmental health, even to the health of our dogs. Most of all, I see untapped opportunity.

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