Mowing the lawn or tilling a field: Matt's Memo

Is it our roots as a nation of farmers that keeps us working the land, even when it's a suburban back yard? Our late arriving spring had me making just the second pass of the season with the lawn mower this morning. As I pushed the mower back and forth and up and down marking fresh strips of grass I got to thinking about the practice of keeping our yards growing and green.

There is nowhere more lush than Central New York once the trees are budding, the grass is getting long and flowers are getting planted. After I finished mowing today I took that moment of pride to look back and think the yard looks pretty good. That's especially true considering the snow cover this winter was unrelenting.

While I cut the grass in the back I was watering the grass in the front. I was watering to comply with the instructions on the grub killing agent I had applied earlier. I have yet to apply any fertilizer or weed killer. The balance of cultivating the strength of the grass you want and eliminating the plants you don't is the great challenge of maintaining an appealing lawn.

I have never been obsessed by the need for lawn perfection. Who is to say what the perfect lawn looks like? It is different for everyone. But, the pride of ownership, the satisfaction that comes with your time and labor does pay off. Having an attractive property that shows you respect your home and neighbors is important.

I enjoyed the time simply being outdoors feeling the sunshine on my face, the sweat on my brow and the push from my legs keeping the mower rolling. Not exactly farming, but it does seem to be a worthwhile connection to the land.


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