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Dandelions and Violets in My Yard • Family and Farming

Dandelions and Violets in My Yard

Looking out at the farmyard I see a sea of yellow; with neon-yellow dandelions against the neon-green of the grass in our yard.  No one would call the area around the house and buildings on our farm a lawn.

What is a Lawn?

According to Wikipedia “A lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grasses or (rarely) other plants such as clover which are maintained at a short length.” We like to joke that if all of the weeds and unwanted growth in our yard were eliminated, there would be nothing left but bare dirt.

There is beauty in a well-tended golf course or the lawn of an estate. I read about a well-known attorney who lived on a ten-acre “estate”. I think it was the real lawn and the very long driveway that made it “estate-like”.  We have a long enough driveway, but we don’t live on an estate. We live and work on a farm, and cannot or will ever be able to put on airs about where we live or what we do.

Why Don’t We Fuss About Having a Lawn?

A million years ago, a vacuum cleaner salesman stopped and tried to sell us a very expensive (over $1,000) vacuum cleaner. He went on and on about dirt and why I should be obsessed with sucking up every particle of dirt in our house. I told him, “My house is “clean”, but I just can’t obsess about dirt at that level, because you must know that we do live on a farm and are surrounded by dirt.” The same goes for that green and yellow stuff around our farmstead site. In the grand scheme of things, an estate-like lawn is not our obsession. Growing a quality crop on our farm is our interest.

It takes around 6 hours to mow the farmyard with a riding mower. (Notice I didn’t say lawnmower, as it’s not a lawn.) Mowing the farmyard involves lots of starts and stops, as I have to jump off the mower to move multiple downspouts, make circular turns around grain bins, edge buildings and fences, and circle around rhubarb patches, and many fruit and deciduous trees. There’s also a windbreak area to mow at the highest setting, where I have to limbo under close to a ½ acre of hundreds of lashing cedar tree branches. Later, a weed trimmer is used to clean up details.

Here’s the same area now mowed. In a few weeks the bright yellow will be gone.

Look closer at the image below. There isn’t just yellow there. Do you see the Violets and Creeping Charlie? (I know some of you just shivered at the phrase Creeping Charlie.) Rest your eyes on this complimentary color scheme of yellow and violet. No need to eliminate any of this. The dandelions will be gone in a few weeks. Fighting dandelions at this level would take too much work. Our time is better spent in the fields than using chemicals and water for our farm’s yard. It grows and then is gone without input from us.

I kind of like our green, yellow and violet space!

Tomorrow I will share a vintage rhubarb recipe that is truly fantastic!

Love to hear what you think!