Thought this might interest a wad of ya. I believe this person
pulled my original dink off of alt.sustainable.agriculture.
If it ever comes down to refereeing between tree crops and lawns,
BTW, I hereby volunteer to wear the striped shirt. Though I can't
promise impartiality. Yerrrrr-out!
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 09:03:11 -0400
Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Permacltur)
To: email@example.com (Michele Gale-Sinex/CIAS, UW-Madison)
Subject: Re: John Greenlee/suburban lawns
X-Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Using John Jeavons data, Mollison suggests that if we sheet-mulched our
lawns, we could produce all our food (with a large diet change for many.)
We'll John's data might be a bit optimistic, but if we added chickens,
rabbits, fish, tree crops, and edible landscaping with sound permaculture
design, we could probably do so and still have half the lawns for babies
to crawl upon, all of us to flick frisbees over, etc. Tree crops and lawns
are not incompatible thought they are mutually hostile and need us as
designers and managers to referee that aspect.
It does take less time to manage a sheet-mulched garden than to manage a
Another alternative, I bought from a neighbor a grade Holstein/white face
calf as soon as the mothers colstrom gave out and raised it up as a lawn
mower. Generally, I would time the purchase to have the calf able to eat
grass as the grass got to the eating stage in spring. (My farmer friend
actually did the timing for me--he kept better track of these things than
I did.) It took 10 minutes a day to move the calf (which was staked) and
deliver fresh water. What about those liquid frisbees on the lawn. Well
they firm up fairly well by the time the calf is moved. If the kids wanted
to play on the law, they shoveled the manure into the garden. It had taken
2.5 hours a week to keep the are mowed for the kids to play on, and to
keep mosquitos down around the house. To do this well, one needs to either
have extra pasture for drought and when the animal gets large or to
slaughter the calf at the end of the first year.
This was in Massachusetts, so carying an animal through the winter was an
issue. I found that the vegetable waste of one supermarket plus a half
bale of hay per day did the job. (I fed concentrates when weather was
below -10 F as a humanitarian thing.) The animal came through lean and
healthy. When that now nearly grown gastric system worked its way through
the wholesome spring flush of grass, you could see the steaks swell daily.
Geese, chickens, et. al, also serve as lawnmowers. In all cases, a
weedwhacker is needed to knock back nasty-tasting vegetation every month
or two--5 minutes per acre if you know how to manage grazing.
Small lawn--use small breeds, such as a Jersey bullock. Castrate bullocks
soon--I didn't and acquired the brusies to remind me to follow my
neighbor's advice in the future.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Publication PUblications.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems/Ag Technology & Family Farm Institute
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
I'm a problem solver. --Xena