Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mowing, herbs and bees

I pulled to zero-carbon reel mower out of the barn and cut some grass today. Just like last year, I found myself wrestling with the merits of mowing, which are few, versus the merits of leaving the "weeds" for their useful and enjoyable properties. Once you know a bit about herbalism, it's damned hard to mow a lawn! This year though, I got to it earlier and I didn't have the big thistle to leave for the goldfinches, or the fuzzy leaves of mulleins to leave for the kids to feel.

I did leave two patches of dandelions, however. Heresy! How could I do it? It was sooo easy; I have much more respect for dandelions than for grass. Dandelion greens are great in a spring salad, their blossoms can be made into wine (need to try that!), the dried roots can be used as a coffee substitute. As if that's not enough the tap root pulls nutrients up from deep in the soil. Can grass do all that?? Just say no to Roundup, and say yes to a yard full of sunshine.

As I walked by those patches of dandelions, I checked for any bee activity. True, the high of the the day was maybe 50 degrees, but there were no bees. It's just spooky to see so many flowers blooming right now, and so few bees.

We have 2 hives set up and the bees are due to arrive any day by U.S. Postal Service. Neither rain nor snow, nor buzzing boxes .... Stay tuned!

My daughter and I are going to participate in a bee survey this year, too. We found it at . Sounds like fun, and we're waiting for our sunflower seeds to arrive. If anyone actually reads this, check it out and participate. The bees need you!

1 comment:

  1. Bee-utiful blog, my friend. I, too, am mowing, but I'm using the gas-powered mower. I'll mow it all once by the end of May, then only mow around the house. I don't feel comfortable burning it, but I want to maintain a field habitat. We have bees, hummingbirds, woodcock, whippoorwills, and orioles. Congratulations on the bee hives. Good for you. Mike is setting up an electric fence around his right now.