Growing up, I have been able to experience three different lawn extremes. First, I lived in a house in the suburbs of Cleveland with your typical front and back lawns. Then my family moved to an apartment in downtown Chicago, which had nothing that resembles a lawn but a simple strip of grass between the sidewalk infront of the house and the street (that was usually littered with trash). Now my family lives on a 23 acre farm that is dominated by pastures and fields.
I remember loving our lawn in Cleveland. The area that we owned that was taken up by our house was tiny compared to that which took up our lawn. Kids from the neighborhood were always playing out back. I know that my parents were guilty of taking lawn care to the extreme and making sure that the lawn kept up with the image of a good, clean lawn.
Living in Chicago was a different story. Seeing as we did not have a lawn to call our own, my mom took to turning our small rooftop area into a series of potted flower gardens. She even grew some tomatoes and basin in a pot on the roof. She even took out the small strip of grass treelawn in front of our apartment and planted a small prarie garden. Low and behold, we found out that after we moved they took out the garden and replanted the grass treelawn. Why was that little strip of grass in inner city Chicago so important? Who knows…
Now that we live on a farm, grass is conseidered a weed. If we ever find a single blade growing in our high tunnels or vegetable beds, we pull it out immediately before its roots can spread. Since we grow organically, we dont ever worry about spreading pesticides or chemicals to make sure our lawn is pretty and green. Also, I’m pretty sure my dad is happy he never really has to mow again. Keeping up with the neighbors is not really an issue, since they live far enough away that our lawn image should not really effect their daily life. I think I prefer this lawn lifestyle the best, however I will never forget the fun I has as a kid in my typical suburban green cut lawn. I don’t think a true childhood is complete if you don’t have some sort of lawn or grassy area to play in!