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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lawn Lunacy

As we savoured the River Brook farm organic local sunchoke risotto this evening (I realized after I'd posted about it before that I'd left the bloody sunchokes up here, sorry. Oh, and for your information they were delectable - crisp and juicy, looked like root ginger, tasted like globe artichokes, texture of jicama or water chestnuts), I kept looking out of the window at the new leaves shooting and the trees covered in blossom and doing a little mental jig at the wonderfulness of it being spring at last.

The day had begun with a trip across the dewy fields to the river in our pyjamas for Dot and me. It was 6.30, misty and beautiful and the birds clearly shared our enthusiasm for the intoxicating spring air.

We spent most of the rest of the day in the garden, Dot waving things around on a rug, T in the hammock (I don't usually stick up for him but having already done the laundry, been to the dump and cleared out the barn, he'd earned a rest) and me trying to mow our very uneven lawn with an old push mower - you know, one of those lawn mowers that isn't electric or petrol-powered, but that you just push. This took equal parts brute force, patience and sheer bloody-mindedness and I stuck with it only because I'd decided that a manual mower was the most eco-friendly option and I was determined it would work. Also, we already had it, bequeathed by the previous owner, which of course differentiated it from other options.

If you needed further proof I've lost the plot, persisting in this fool's errand would be it. It took hours. Our lawn is lumpy and contoured and covered in clumps of very woody super-grass. I had to pre-cut much of it with the shears. I had to lean into the mower with my whole body. Most bits needed several goings-over. I then had to rake up the clippings and chuck them in the wormery (which, by the way, looked like it had compacted, thanks presumably to the efforts of Dot's worms - goody).

When I was done, it looked like a six year-old's fringe (bangs) she's cut herself, or, as my grandpa would have said, like I'd cut it with a knife and fork (I almost had). No suburban stripes for our lawn. My shoulders, back and arms are killing me this evening and I'm sure it'll only be worse by tomorrow.

So, as seems to happen from time to time (cleaning the oven springs to mind) I have to concede that the greenest option isn't really viable. I think the next-least-bad option is to explore the principal of shared ownership as it relates to un-eco-friendly lawn mowers - that is to say, borrow one from a kindly neighbour. To make up for the power we'll incur, I'm unplugging all digital clock-radios as of tomorrow.

Come to think of it, why on earth are they even still plugged in?

Bad Freya.

PS. Forgot to tell you, T saw a snake on our lawn last saturday. A snake! Lock up your babies. I mean my baby.

And PPS, just a reminder to check out Sally Walton's bags at carry-a-bag. They are totally gorgeous reusable bags and are getting lots of attention so get em while you still can. My Mum is being a mule for a shipment over to the US next week to save on incremental carbon (she was coming anyway) so if any readers want one and let me know by tomorrow night, we might be able to persuade mum to squeeze an extra one or two into her suitcase...Nina, if you're reading, reckon you'd love the superman bag on this page.

And PPPS, Alice at River Brook Farm is raising money for some gorgeous goats she just rescued in a parlous physical condition. If you want to donate a buck or two, let me know and I'll connect you. She's truly a saint.

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