The Hard Way?

Interaction out front of my house this morning:

Me: {trimming vegetation by hand, and pulling a few “weeds” from the sidewalk crack – not because I want them gone, but because if I pull them, maybe it will head off the powers-that-be from spraying poison on the sidewalk, whence it then washes into the storm drain}

Guy from the neighborhood, walking by: “That’s the hard way.”

Me: “Oh yeah, what’s the easy way?”

Him: “Weed-whacker.”

Me: “Ugh! Those are disgusting! Noisy and disgusting. And, I’m in shape because I do this.”

Him: {continues on his way, thinking “yeah, whatever, crazy lady.”}

Me: {continues enjoying the beautiful sunny day, getting exercise, getting to know the conditions in & around my yard, getting to connect with neighbors who pass by, and not having to be subjected to gasoline fumes, oppressive noise, or chemicals!}

So … which way is the “hard way,” again?

Although electric weed-whackers are an improvement because they aren’t noisy or smelly, the ideal would be for all this labor we currently exert on lawns and “neatness”, to get channeled instead into things more worthy of our attentions and creative energy.

Speaking of things more worthy of our energies … Today on Facebook, a permaculture design colleague shared this story about the rising popularity of “agri-hoods”: housing developments built around an organic farm. Although the article focuses on luxury developments, this model could certainly be applied to mid-range housing or low-income/starter homes.

My colleague commented, “The time is ripe for an alternative to ‘mow, blow, spray and go’ landscape contracts.” Amen to that! Besides supplying fresh food and helping people reconnect with nature, agri-hoods also have a strong community-building component. And the landscaping contracts would become FOODscaping contracts.