Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God's green earth

Here's a chuckle sent to me by a friend. I honestly never thought about the issue quite like this before.

God and Lawn Care

God 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, honeybees, 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 drawn a new circle. 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: It's called 'Dumb and Dumber,' Lord. It's a story about...

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


  1. Very funny, it really is quite ridiculous isn't it.

  2. Confirms two things:

    1. God must have been a farmer
    2. God did NOT create homeowners associations


  3. And the saddest part about it is how so many of those 'weeds' Father gave us are nutritious and delicious.

    I am as we speak sending some to someone who's currently 'stuck' in suburbia and will be thrilled to get these two particular weeds: common plantain and heal-all. She uses them in making a healing ointment. She'll treasure them.


    A. McSp

  4. This reminds me of quote from Lily Tomlinson.

    LILY: "And here we are careening recklessly into the next millenium. I don't know about you, but I'm not packed... I feel as though I've been lost and bewildered most of my life.
    Like the time I bought a wastepaper basket and I carried it home in a paper bag. And when I got home, I put the paper bag in the wastepaper basket."

    Let's just keep perfecting and complicating our lives just a little more!


  5. I especially liked calling the Suburbanites a tribe! "They are a tribe like no other..."

    This explains why I feel like a stranger, having
    had a rural upbringing.

    Though some here forgot about the wild violets, which are not only beautiful but delicious and chock full of vitamin C. Iceberg lettuce comes off as human folly in comparison.
    If you want crisp, why not go for some purslane, which thrives in some of the world's most inhospitable environments (including urban parking lots and unwatered stretches of gravel) and is considered one of the world's most nutritious greens, full of hard to get minerals and amino acids. Talk about a plant to import to the third world! It is also quite tasty.

    The young greens from tumble weeds are similarly arrayed with minerals and aminos, and also thrive in places you'd be surprised to see anything grow. Turns out, goats aren't careless about what they eat, but smart!

    You can also use dandelions not only for salads, but also for red/magenta dye and wine making, and a coffee additive/substitute. This is why our ancestors brought them to the New World... in quantity.
    The hallowed chickory, another additive/substitute for coffee is also a common weed that loves to live in ditches and untended dirt lots.
    I've heard that "cheeses" a weed related to mallow in the midwest, was used on some farms as a rennet substitute for cheese processing for those who were allergic. It makes for a softer cheese, but apparently makes good stuff anyway. Or so I'm told.

    And if we were mad for grass, there are some that grow naturally low heights.

    There's a type of blue grass (yes, it has a blue cast that is really lovely) that my grandparents planted in their back 40 to protect the soil when the field is fallow. It is quite uniform, drought resistant, and looks real nice. Not as short as HOA would like, but it has few "unsightly" seed heads and has a much more diciplined habit than most lawn grasses I've ever seen.

    There are types of fescue that grow a mere four to five inches tall depending on cultivar and would never need to be mowed. In the fall, they get a feathery seedhead which doesn't blow around, and tickles the ankles and looks magical in the evening with lacy dew. The one I'm familiar with has a purple lacy seed head which looks like a subtle shade of dusk. This one is also shockingly drought resistant. It has, to my knowledge, NEVER been watered and thrives in LP Michigan, even during drought years.

    If you gotta plant grass, why not make it *interesting* grass?

  6. Mrs. Lewis, the last time I read this, I raked all of the leaves into my flower beds and I'm still doing it. Now I even put banana peals, egg shells, and coffee grounds in with them.