The great lawn mowing dilemma

We’ve got maybe an acre or so of lawn at our place, minus what the house, shed and garden occupy. The rest of our land is full of trees (mostly young ones), brambles and thickets that make me understand where the word "thicket" probably came from. At this time of year, you can’t even think about walking around in those areas.

As for the lawn, we are not the types to fetishize the grass’s shortness or uniformity, or to insist that it remain green even in the dry late summer. We just mow it every two weeks (if we’re lucky) and leave it at that. But even that minimal maintenance uses gasoline and makes noise. Call me crazy, but I also feel sad when I see grasshoppers fleeing for their lives before the mower and violets succumbing to the blades. 

With that in mind, last year we started mowing somewhat less area, leaving a big patch on the edge of the yard to grow as it will.

Wild and free!

It’s not quite as lovely and prairie-ish as we’d hoped it might be, and we debate the relative merits of being able to stroll through that area versus less mowing. For now, there it is. Anyone else letting some (or all) of their grass go wild?

On a related note, we’d hoped the chickens would help us out with mowing inside their fence, but it turns out that three chickens can’t nearly keep up with the big run we’ve given them. They’re foraging in a jungle now; we’ll have to get the mower in there soon and wrestle it back under control. (One good thing about having chickens in long grass: They’re somewhat less visible to predators.)

Mechanical mowing on the left; avian mowing on the right.

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