Many years ago, my husband and I dreamt of a different life. We wanted to put life to years, and not years to life.
At the time, we were blissfully unaware of the downsides of modern living: hydroponic salads, factory chickens, carcinogenic deodorant, fracking, peak oil and tasteless tomatoes! The book The Ethics Of What We Eat by Peter Singer lifted the curtain of ignorance that blanketed us from the reality of what food – the very thing that sustains our bodies- had become. And just there started our journey.
We’re now setting up our permaculture homestead in the Dooralong Valley – we’re growing our food, raising a child and living a simple, happy, life. We’ve put life to years. And so can you.
So without much transition, let’s start now sharing some tips about how to add life to years! We’ll start with your lawn.
Maintaining any kind of monoculture is a financial drain. There is no two ways about that. It is also labour-intensive, energy-hungry and wasteful of natural resources.
Here around the house, the grass seems to grow three times faster than anywhere else on the farm! I tried the push reel-mower, but Kikuyu or twigs seem to love getting jammed in the blades. Besides, it takes quite a lot of physical effort and time. So I gave up. I’d rather play with our child or rest on the lounge chair!
Friends suggested I buy a petrol mower – but 1. they’re expensive (purchase, petrol, maintenance, spare parts), 2. I hate the noise and the smell, 3. they need regular maintenance to extend their life. Besides, they still require our physical presence to run the machine.
So, we opted for a guinea pig! They’re the most multi-functional, no nuisance, no maintenance-required mower! They keep it nicely trimmed. They fertilise it. They don’t dig or burrow. They don’t make noise or smell bad. They’re a pet for our child. All they require is a bottle of water, a bit of roughage like hay or dry leaves, a piece of fruit a day and a moveable tractor to work and rest!
Now I can rest on my lounge chair and watch the grass grow!
Article previously published in The Rural Grapevine