Monday, May 25, 2009

Doing Things the Hard Way

There's a new show out here in Canada - I don't know if it's in the US or not. It's called "The Goode Family", and it's an animated show about a family that tries desperately to be green, but often fails miserably.

I've never watched it and don't intend to, but I can relate on one level - it's hard to be truly green. Especially when you're neighbors are looking in.

Face it, we're herd animals, so it's completely respectable now to head to the grocery store with your shiny new cloth bags. In fact, here in Terrace it's hard not to. Just this past week I noticed that stores all over town are upping the ante for providing you with a plastic bag at the checkout counter.

It's not so respectable, though, to have a lawn full of dandelions. Neighbors look down on this.

Our lawn has more dandelions than grass, so this is an issue that has personal significance. I think our neighbors would be pretty pleased at this point if we just dumped a load of weed and feed and took care of the problem once and for all.

That's not the way we do things around here, though. Surrounded as we are by rivers and streams that are home to some of the best salmon fishing in the world, we're not about to add to the toxic run-off that's killing them off.

Instead, we're using kid-power. Each day we mark off a rectangle of lawn and each day one or two children trudge reluctantly out armed with dandelion pickers and get to work. The neighbors do not seem to approve. Sometimes they lend the kids top of the line dandelion implements. Sometimes they make loud comments about what wonderful kids we have to do such hard work. I keep half-expecting a midnight posse to come by and weed-n-feed our lawn themselves.

Our method is working, though. Bit by bit, the non-dandelion part of the lawn is getting bigger. No rivers have been ruined. No fish have died. The kids' muscles are getting bigger. What's wrong with that?


Alea said...

Good for you for not giving into the temptation to use chemicals.

My trick is to run through the yard and pick off all of the flowers each morning. If they are not allowed to turn to seed, they cannot spread (and the neighbors are less likely to notice them). Then we dig out the plants at our leisure.

Jennifer said...

LOl! I thought we were the only ones to cheat that way!