The American Lawn

We like grassland. It reminds us of the Savannah. And we evolved on the Savannah. We came down out of the trees, and we liked open land. And open land is safe. So, there may be some genetic proclivity we have for open grasslands, but that is not the same as the lawn. Lawns are an American institution. We invented the front lawn. The backyard is very different
and has a different set of rules. Your front yard belongs to the community as much as it does to you. The conceit of the American suburbs is that we’re all in a great park together. That’s what America is and the lawn symbolizes that continuity. How well you take care of your lawn is the way you express your solidarity with your neighbors. It’s a gesture to the neighbors as much as it is to you, but we forget it’s a very
unnatural landscape. Yes, it’s more natural
than asphalt perhaps, but that’s about it. Lawns are the largest irrigated crop in America. The area of lawn in this country’s
three times as big as the corn crop. The irony of the American lawn is it’s so exposed that nobody spends any time there. There are cars going by, everyone can see you … so we all stay in the back yard. The front lawn becomes purely a symbol. So, it’s a very peculiar institution. We all take it for granted. It seems very normal to us. But if you were a Martian coming to Earth, and you looked at this and say “Why are all these people
squeezed into these backyards? And they have this beautiful expanse of green grass in front and they don’t even walk on it.”

3 comments on “The American Lawn”

  1. Tom Sherman says:

    if one takes a cord and ties one end to the roller or roller rod pulls it tight and ties the other end to the handle one can raise the cutting height as high as 9 inches to cut grass as high as a foot. then one can put a cam or turnbuckle in this cord for adjusting the height. this makes your reel ~33% faster than a gas mower. this can be done for $5 in 5 minutes. i have 4 working models. go to facebook and type "tom d sherman" into search to get the details.

    to experiment all one has to do is remove the reel's roller, tie a cord then to the exposed roller rod, pull back the other end and cinch it to the handle for a simple working device. don't let the picture with the wooden extension throw you off . that is the ideal. all you need to do is connect the pictured cord and turnbuckle directly to the roller rod. you can make the wooden thing at a later time.

    go to tom d sherman on facebook then noise reduction. you can then scroll down to the section starting "the modified . . . ." to see more advanced instructions.

    * * is my fb url. after doing this scroll to section beginning start "the modified reel mower …"


  2. Canimaslan USA says:

    Your video explained very little

  3. Frank Patterson says:

    Fascinating ! Pleasantly thought provoking on why most of us are sheep and follow the crowd and mass marketing….while dismissing the environmental and social cost of all the front yard decorative "no-play" zones. In my neighborhood the front lawns are so laden with toxic treatments, even the friendly dogs won't tread on the grass.

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