Gordy the Goat was going for the ride of his life. It was 1:00 a.m., and Gordy was in the back of a white Yukon Denali blowing through a stop sign at Earl Street and Mounds Boulevard in St. Paul, MN. Just minutes earlier, the brown-and-white splotched ruminant had been quietly at work in a nearby park, doing what he does best: grounds maintenance.
See, Gordy, and a herd of thirty others, are charged with removing invasive species, unwanted grass and vegetation in the city parks... by eating it. But on this night, Gordy fell victim to goat theft, though whether he viewed it as
My brother-in-law, Nathan, is a self-proclaimed, um, minimalist lawn care guy. He grew up in a house with a steep, turf-covered backyard hill, and as the youngest son, was the mower of choice as soon as he was big enough until he graduated from college.
And now, in his own house, with the scars of his Sisyphean task of pushmowering up the world's steepest backyard, he's not the hugest fan of taking care of his turf. I mean, who would be, when you're an awesome dad and you're faced with the choice of hanging out with your totally rad kids or mowing the grass?
But, after nearly ten years in this house, with plenty of patches and a healthy collection of dandelions, crabgrass, thistles, and all sorts of other weeds, even Nathan realized his yard could use a season of TLC.
Why Grass Seed is Way More Interesting than You'd Think: Reports from the Pennington Seed "Seed for Yourself" Summit
Over the past weekend, I was fortunate to be invited as a guest of Pennington Seed to attend the Seed for Yourself Summit near Albany, Oregon. As someone who lives in the city and is thankful I haven't had to care for a green lawn since I gave the responsibility back to my dad when I left for college, I admit I knew very little nothing about grass seed, how to grow it, or why some is better than others.
But now, I've been schooled, and I'm popping around the neighborhood goin' "See that? That's tall fescue, it goes dormant in the winter, which is why it looks like straw;" and, "Perennial rye grass right there, cause it has untoothed parallel sides and prominent parallel veins on the upper surface."
See? I learned something. And...grass seed is pretty fascinating stuff.
Something very strange has happened to me last week. I - one who came to fore in the oh-so-green and manicured lawns of the suburbs, who daily cut lawns in order to finance bicycle and first guitar purchases, who is deathly allergic to grass, and hates the idea of using all that gasoline to keep a non-native plant from growing - got an urge to mow the grass. As an urban apartment dweller, I don't have a plot of land to take care of, and what little space I do have is filled with veggies.
But, I just felt a brief, passing twinge to welcome summer with a Walkman-serenaded stroll up and down rows and rows of green, staining my shoes in the process.