Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Decision - Rescinded

That's it. I may be a slow learner, but I don't need a brick wall to fall on me.

I used to mow our lawn a lot. Then, for some reason, hubby took over the job as a regular thing. It was probably because I'm the head gardener around here, and my efforts were needed in the garden when lawn mowing time came around.

But yesterday I told hubby I would mow the lawn while he did the weed shipping. I immediately discovered two things: 1) Mowing our lawn is really h-a-r-d work (or it could be that I'm terribly out of shape, but I prefer not to go there); and 2) we have way too much lawn.

We've disliked having all this lawn to mow for some time and each year have kept expanding berry patches and garden and orchard area to eat up lawn area. But now we've found ourselves at the point where we really should scale back on garden footage, because two people can only give away and eat so much food.

Bright idea: I think we need to get a couple of lambs to raise over summer. If we rotated them on the lawn with movable electric fencing, they would have plenty of grass to eat, and we would have much less to mow.

Only glitch is that we would have to butcher them ourselves this fall. Unfortunately, our nearest meat processing plant is . . . I don't even know where our nearest meat processing plant is. (Over a hundred miles away, at any rate.) Do I want to butcher a couple of lambs this fall? Heck, no. But I sure would like to have lamb in our freezer this winter. And I sure would like to have much less lawn to mow this summer.

Wait. Stop. Hold it. Somebody rein me in. Hubby and I made a solemn promise to each other not to start ANYTHING new this summer, because our big push is to work on finishing the remodeling of the house. And I am SO desperate to get that done. Nope. Forget the lambs for this year. Absolutely. Put it out, out, out of my mind.

Should we let the lawn revert back to forest? No, I wouldn't be happy with that either. We'll have to struggle on and keep it mowed this year. Besides, soon it will be time for me to have to put time in on the garden, and maybe I can give my dear husband back the mowing task. (I am bad. I am really, really bad.)


LindaCO said...

Every time life calms down is when I get some bright idea to do something new. I wonder if the two are connected...

Aimee said...

Hey Mama Pea - what an incredible resource you have! I've thought of a couple ideas, but I don't know what your situation is and if any of these would work.
One idea is to keep expanding that garden and sell your extra produce - at a veggie stand or your local farmer's market or some place like that.
One idea is to take out all your grass and plant clover. It's a great "cover crop," enriching the soil, attracting pollinating insects (good for your garden), and you don't have to mow it, and I think it looks great! We've got patches of white and red clover starting up here. It's not too late for you to plant it either.
Another idea: If the garden is too much work for you to do, get an intern. There are lots of people out there (lots of young strong people) who are desperate to learn about farming, gardening and all those ins and outs. It sounds like you would have a lot to teach! You probably couldn't pay anyone (not all internships are paid anyway) but perhaps if you had a room to spare and fed the volunteer, you could get a helping hand for the growing season.

Anyway, just some thoughts. =)

Erin said...

Wait up! Check and see if you have a local abbatoir or someone who processes all the game meat up there for hunters - they would usually welcome the work when it's not hunting season, just make sure they know what they're doing, but alot of them take much pride in their work and probably more so if it's a butcher for a local instead of a tourist just up hunting for the weekend. I love the lamb idea, and how yummy would a rack of lamb be on Christmas Eve? Wait, let me check my schedule... hahahahhaa!

Claire said...

Rent it! Maybe there's someone with not enough garden space who would give you some $ to use it?

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Linda - I think you may have just hit on something there! ;o)

Hi, Aimee - We tried market gardening year before last and found that for the extra time and energy involved, the $$$ return was . . . well, paltry. I think if we concentrated on marketing something like raspberries or perhaps strawberries (instead of a variety of veggies), it would be a lot more beneficial.

Love your idea of the clover! That would be great for our honey bees, too.

If we EVER get the house finished, it will contain a small guest apartment which would be perfect for an intern. We've given thought to that.

All good ideas you have. Appreciate the input. :o)

P.S. What a bunch of wonderful things you are doing on your piece of property! You've got a real flare.

Hi, Erin - One of our local grocery stores used to process deer/moose in their butcher shop but "regulations" forced them to stop.

Now most people do it themselves or with the help of friends who are good at it.

When we do get around to raising a couple of lambs (Christmas Eve dinner one of these years!), I have someone in mind we could ask to do it, or give us good instruction.

Hi, Claire - I'm going to keep punishing myself by growing too much for one more year at least. Be careful when you show up here . . . you may find your trunk stuffed full of green beans when you leave!

Jody M said...

So...let it go to 'meadow.' Help it along with some wildflower seed that is natural in your neck of the woods, and it will be more habitat-friendly to the local wildlife.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jody - I would really like that if I could keep something blooming there from spring through fall!

Another way to "get rid of" lawn area would be to plant more raspberries to sell which I know would command a price that would make the effort worthwhile. Wait! That sounds like more work!! ;o)

Patty said...

Hey Mama Pea-

If you kill it and gut it out and skin it, Zups will cut it up for you...

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Patty - Wow, that is good to know! Thanks so much for that little tidbit of information!