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Does anyone know WHY Cut Grass?

 
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johnlvs2run wrote:I like this idea of bending the grass instead of cutting it down.  It seems to me this would be much faster than using a tractor or a scythe.  I wonder what could be designed to do this more quickly, or at least as effectively as a scythe, bending the grass instead of cutting it down.


Lay down and roll all over. Or let children play in the field.
 
          
Posts: 18
Location: Saskatchewan Zone 2b-3a maybe 3b
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johnlvs2run wrote:
That's a great idea. 
Wouldn't this teach them to set foot outside the property though,
to "teach" you to come out and feed them? 
I'm curious how often and how long this training takes. 
If you don't watch them every day,
do they start leaving right away?



I started out with chickens in the barn and that barn was sort of located in the middle of a meadow.
Two dozen or so chicks I bought to begin with and whenever I went in there at feeding/watering time
I used that can+corn to rattle and get their attention and did so for some weeks until they grew bigger
and THEN opened some sort of an exit facing south-towards the meadow and close by the fields...
and watched them how one by one they ventured outside the barn- free range.
But would continue feeding, rattling them only inside the barn for some time.

Over time it turned out they would leave the barn, then turn east then north then west so go, go around
and around the barn... that part of the grass I kept cutting, they seemed to prefer their walking that way...

So later when I added goslings and ducks, placing them on the straw nests on the side of the barn walls
away from above chicken roosts, these animals became witnesses/subjects of the same corn can rattle,
soon they followed the behavior of the now mature chickens and walked around and around the barn
simply by imitating that behavior...

If there was some danger, wild dog or unknown human they all would flee into the "safety"
of their barn; or inclement weather would keep them there. 

The barn was always shut during the night so they were already waiting for me in the morning
to open "the gates" and out they would run...

Once nature was green and provided for them I stopped feeding them, only provided water
and only rattled the can to collect them for me to count them, or when I left afternoons
to come back at darkness I would rattle and feed corn inside the barn and so shut them in-
this kept roaming wild dogs outside...

This fields were open fields separated between different owners by some sort of ditch I could jump over;


I observed chickens would never venture too far from the safety of their barn,
but geese would suddenly line up in a row and march stubbornly in some pre-determined direction...
mostly going east towards that neighbor's corn field !!!

I observed that from behind the window in the house, but once the first goose entered the ditch
at that very moment I would go outside, rattle the can, the white Emden geese would run, run run,
and to my surprise, month later learned to take off, fly towards me, circled me several times before landing - 
then only they got some corn as their reward.

But everyone tries to fly at moments like this, chickens and turkeys keep running and flapping
their wings, all of the dozen geese finally did fly- but guineas did this always and very nicely from the beginning.

Yes, social animals, they learn from each other
and they managed and trained me...

 
          
Posts: 18
Location: Saskatchewan Zone 2b-3a maybe 3b
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johnlvs2run wrote:

I like this idea of bending the grass instead of cutting it down. 
It seems to me this would be much faster than using a tractor or a scythe. 
I wonder what could be designed to do this more quickly,
or at least as effectively as a scythe, bending the grass instead of cutting it down.



Fukuoka insisted on not ever "cutting" the straw into snippets...

and attributed
success of his clover-green manure/grain seed method
emerging from under the "whole straw layer"...

and failure
to snippets, orderly, tidily placed dried straw
that is placed like nature would not place it...


I watched some of my grass here grow,
then fall over, uncut.

Then rain came, 
the micro-climate of temperature/ moisture

between
the yet non-existing soil here
and
this cover made up of bent over long-growth-grass

creates
an atmosphere, thus a shelter -
moisture for life,
moisture for germination:

didn't Planki also confirm this with his method of a dried hay layer
a "thickness" that covers grain seeds
sitting thus within an atmosphere
on top of a growing moist green manure...

so now I see here and there some fresh grass growing through this dried layer:
ultimately, this surface/no till treat
is to give future soil the capacity
to store future rains inside organic matters of root galore
to become more soil
for future growth of my vegetables...

I would venture to say that dried out grass has to be bent down
and come in touch with the soil surface
so often and over so many seasons until it no longer dries out:
there's now enough humus+moisture that maintains growth
of whatever vegetables will want to grow there.
Fukuoka proved that point too via his watering requirement reductions!


bending the grass instead of cutting it down,
probably with some sort of a roller,
but I prefer my foot bending green grass
so not to amputate the grass from its roots
and terminate or speed up its drying and moisture evaporation into the air:
no, you want that moisture rescued
and used by the roots and its system...


it seems that tools and chemicals
discriminate against life's possibilities...
the viability of various organs thereof

alas, a desired ritual,
like hand/arm movements
when smoking a cigarette,
totally useless body movements,
designed by an invention...




 
Posts: 70
Location: western u.s.
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AR wrote:
I started out with chickens in the barn



AR, that's a great story, thanks for sharing. 

- - -

I mentioned the bending grass story to my mom. 
Her reply was, "oh no, snakes would hide in the grass!  She's from Arkansas. 

I don't know why they'd be any more likely to hide in grass bent over. 
Meanwhile the fields are full of grass, and 10 foot tall ragweed lines the roads.
I've read that it's easy to pull out by the roots.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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johnlvs2run wrote:oh no, snakes would hide in the grass!



Sounds reasonable. Integrated pest management types create brush piles and similar for exactly this reason.

Some pushed-over grass in the pathways of your potato or garlic patch, for example, might make garter snakes feel at home, and keep the voles in check.

That said, I think there are circumstances where a natural grazing cycle (or an analogue like cutting and composting) is the most appropriate method of management.
 
          
Posts: 18
Location: Saskatchewan Zone 2b-3a maybe 3b
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johnlvs2run wrote:
"oh no, snakes would hide in the grass!  She's from Arkansas. 



as a matter of fact, above farm had a pile of bricks right beside the outside barn-wall
and several arm-thick holes in the 'muddy' ground near/within above chicken/ducks/geese walking path
and as such was home of 'several' garter snakes: I saw one and smaller ones disappearing
in that brick pile and another disappearing in one of those holes...

But here on this property while my grass grows lustily this reminds me of "oh no, he's letting weeds grow!"
while I said:"do not look at what you see! but imagine all the goodness it does to the expanding roots
and the life developing within the soil to "grow yet." 

As a school-boy I had a flock of dwarf bantams and as such they turned and looked under every leave
and ate insects and insect eggs. So on the farm the likewise free range chickens turned every leave;
so do the guineas. Nearby some shed I went to one day, and the chickens are as curious as me, follow me
and there was at ground level a mouse nest... and in no time the chickens cleaned out the nest...



 
straws are for suckers. tiny ads are for attractive people.
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https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
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