The Grass Is Greenest

by Amy Middleton, Guest Blogger

Two weeks ago I traded my 3rd floor Manhattan walk-up apartment for a temporary yet rent-free arrangement with my parents. I thought leaving NYC after seven years would be grief-filled, epic, tragic; but it has been none of that. I’ve yet to miss the East Coast.

The most welcome change has been the weather. In June, NYC had rain every day but four. Since coming west I’ve only had sunshine. The irony of this upgrade is that while skyscrapers do not require irrigation, the landscape of Orange County largely does. There is a surface out here called grass and it takes up land and resources, and homeowners are not happy if it is a color other than green.

Though I grew up with a lawn, the concept seems outdated and superfluous to me now. In my Harlem walkup, potted fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs competed for limited space near the only window that brought in sunlight.  Though I lacked roof access, I attended workshops on rooftop gardening.  The “Food Not Lawns” approach soon seemed the only sensible use of soil; the dream of having my own little space in which to grow food was a primary catalyst for the cross-country return.

The impact of the Southern California on yard-owners is thus: the city is mandating when they may and may not run their sprinklers. I don’t mean to be complaining about people who are frustrated at the adjustment, but this for me has been the biggest shock of swapping coasts and cultures:

If you have limited access to life’s most essential liquid, why are you upset that the government is monitoring completely unproductive water usage?

Another appropriate question is, who am I, and why am I lamenting this on May’s blog? I am May’s anagram, and while she’s leading young women in spirituality and scriptures, I am thinking about lawns.

2 thoughts on “The Grass Is Greenest

  1. What I find maddening is that HOA’s often require certain landscaping, and large vegetable gardens are generally considered a no-no, unless you have a fenced back yard. We don’t. Recently on the news, there was a story about a man in Orlando who entirely landscaped his yard with plants that need very little water. His HOA is taking him to court to force him to grow a water-sucking lawn!

  2. Oh, excellent point Kim! I’m looking to buy a home, and I can’t even consider the more affordable condo option because then I’d have a group of people telling me how I can and can’t save water and grow food.

    Honestly I believe that green lawns will one day go the way of smoking on airplanes and in restaurants. It may be seen as a right, a choice, and a statement today, but when enough people are willing to put the health and well-being of society above an arbitrary status quo, we will look back and wonder how it was ever accepted in the first place.

A little discussion.

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