Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kill the Bull

A while ago I watched a fiery sermon by Bishop TD Jakes called "Kill the Bull." Part of the sermon was about idolatry. He told about how the people of Israel made a bull shaped idol while Moses went up to the mountain to get The Ten. When Moses came back and found the people worshiping that idol he kinda blew apart. Bishop Jakes warned of our own idolatry and taught that we should "kill the bulls" in our own lives lest we be held back in bondage by them.

I'm not mowing it. No way.

You might think that idolatry is some kind of old fashioned idea and not relevant in today's world. Well friends, I tell you the truth, idolatry is alive and well.

No where but here in the Mid-West is idolatry practiced so openly, so reverently then at the church of John Deere where they worship the false god of The Lawn. Lawn care is a powerful religion around here.  All weekend the idolators ride their Chariots of Green in prayerful patterns on their green alters. I've never seen anything like it.

Most of the yards around here look like putting greens with a house randomly dropped on it. If they have any kind of shrubbery, its badly done. Why, I could have a full time job just driving around and giving people tickets for ineffective landscaping.

Trees? Nope - no trees allowed on The Lawn. They are too hard to mow around. Put in a garden? Don't be silly that's valuable grass space. Graze some livestock or use that 8 acres for growing hay? Now that's just foolishness. According to these wayward souls, whatcha gotta do is spend all your time, money, and effort keeping that grass perfectly mowed. Don't forget the chemicals to make it pristine. 

It drives me nuts.

All I see is unproductive land and vast expanses of grass that could be use to benefit the owners. Gardens? Fruit trees? Any kind of tree? Nope. There are hungry people in our community but some folks got nothing to do but mow all their grass all day. I think its a little shameful to tell you the truth and those grass lovin' folks could use some repentin'.

Fortunately the folks around us have got me for a witness. I don't worship or acknowledge their false god of green. I condemn the whole thing entirely. My goal is to have just enough grass that it can be mowed in less than 30 minutes with a push mower. 

Some, if not all, of the neighbors around here hate it. And I don't care. I'm sticking to the straight and narrow path. Right now we've got white clover blooming on the hillside. The beez love it. And its good for my bad soil. I tell you this, I am not going to mow it down. I let it all grow.

Usually I wait until some of the patches around the yard get good and tall then I come thru with my trusty scythe and take all that free food up for the barnyard. Any place I can till I plant a little patch of this or that. Oats, wheat, alfalfa - I plant it and let it all grow. Some times I just let patches of good ol' green grass grow good and long and then I take it all up for the critters.  For heavens sakes its free food!

So no sir, you won't see me trifflin' with the sin of lawn idolatry. No sir, indeed. I have mine eye fixed on the true Full Harvest. What we got out there in my yard is a good old fashioned, hand clappin', glory shouting lawn of righteousness. I will not be bound by the idol of perfect grass nor shall my barnyard go without. So tell your neighbors to confess their lawn care ways while you seek the productive yard of glory. That's what I do.

Can I get an amen?

Happy Monday everyone! Now get out there and DON'T mow that grass! Till it all up and plant something useful instead!


freemotion said...


Even the stuff we mow gets bagged and fed to the pigs or chicks, or used as mulch in the gardens. We even collect our neighbor's untreated clippings.

The lushest lawn I've ever seen is our other neighbor, who uses no chemicals and doesn't worship his lawn. He used to raise meat rabbits commercially. I so wish he had a bagging mower!

Robin said...

Amen! Boy, I too hate that perfect chemical grass! That's the only thing I see "chemicals". I really haven't figured out why people are so so stuck on this. My total grass area is a small patch in the front which measures about 30' x 20' at the most. The rest of our urban property is gardens.

Tami said...

Amen, Sister! We've got a smattering of that here in the burbs. Afew "Chem-lawns" and a few do-it-yourselfers. We've even got a few like mine, clover, dandelions and chick weed.

We became believers and planted gardens and fruit trees a few years ago. I am in awe of the 1 guy in the hood who's WHOLE backyard is a veggie garden.

Mr. H. said...

Amen Sister!

God and St. Francis Discussing Lawns

GOD: St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the USA? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds.

I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers weeds and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, sir -- just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stoke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You'd better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about ...

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

small farm girl said...

Amen sista!!!! We have a big yard RIGHT NOW. But, that's just because the fruit trees are too small to put the animals around yet. It's in the works for it all(other than the garden) to be for the animals.

Blue Feather Micro-Farm said...

Amen! Bought white dutch clover seeds a few years back and patches of it are mixed in with the grass. I like the grass and clover mixed so there is still ground cover in the winter. When I find viola seed I mix that in too. In the back yard, the grass is only on the paths between growing beds :D

Rae said...

I can't help it... I mow. Though I don't find it at all difficult to mow around all of our young fruit trees. Gotta mow, or the blackberries pop up all over the place. Mowing here keeps it just grass and clover. On the flip side, our "lawn" isn't pretty. We rotate geese, ducks, and chickens on it, so it often shows lovely rectangular poop patches from the chicken tractor. :) The birds leave fertilizer and eat the lawn pests (so no chemicals needed). Also, like freemotion above, what we bag goes to the pigs and chickens. The pigs do love them some grass clippings. :)

Sonja said...

I start screaming at those kinds of lawns around here. I live in a desert. Those Golf Course lawns are the worst kind of wastefulness, due to the sheer amount of water they suck up. It is both economically and environmentally stupid.

kcsunshine said...

Yea you! We put 2 more raised beds in our back yard. I told the whole county in a newspaper interview last year - "Who needs to mow when you can grow food?"

Traci Sumner said...


We've been getting ready to build fence so that we can finally get critters. You should see me while I am mowing, I'm mentally planning where the next piece of fence can go and what type of critter to put there. We only have 3 acres, but pretty soon, it's all going to be fenced in and full o critters - except around the 10 fruit trees, the garden, and the kid's playyard.

Unknown said...

We've only mowed the house yard once so far this year, Bella our house cow has been keeping it nice and short (and fertilised), as long as we have an electric fence around my vege garden (doesn't have to be plugged in, just has to be there) she is very well behaved and doesn't use any fuel :)

Damummis said...

I have dandelions, lambs quarters, purslane, clover, raspberries, alfalfa, lady's mantle, clover and who knows what other goodies growing in the grass. That all gets mowed, bagged and turned into silage for winter forage. Sometimes I even feed it to the animals fresh. The grass makes up, oh, 20%. It is amazing. It is the greenest "lawn" around.

Chai Chai said...

I have just two words for this - Sheep!

Kat said...

I live in an area that I cant even plant a garden (dumb landlord) but I rebel by only cutting my grass when I can't see the birds sitting in it. I also throw all the "old" bird seed out from the pet birds so I have all kinds of nutty stuff growing in my yard. I actually got more than a little sad when I had to mow the other day. Normal lawns are boring.

David said...

AMEN! I'm down to one little patch. and the back "lawn" is now veggie garden. Amen indeed!

Morgan said...

I don't have anything to feed it to, sadly, or I would do that, but in my community, you can be fined for having an 'overgrown' lawn. all it takes is one person calling and mentioning you and BAM! Fined.

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