All of a sudden that old idiom ‘it’s like watching grass grow’ seems like a really silly thing to say. Grass just isn’t boring at all!
February’s farm planning course covered many things but the segment on ‘Grasses of the NSW tablelands’ captured my imagination the most. It only took five minutes of standing outside of our classroom in Bathurst to spot three, four, five maybe six different species of grass – that’s up to six different stories, opportunities, histories and futures right there beneath my feet! And to think that all I’ve done previously is trampled on it, sat on it, sneezed because of it or tried to remember to mow it. Value it? Not really, not deeply. Not until now.
My attitude to grass ‘it all looks the same, it’s boring, show me the pretty stuff, most of them are just weeds’ demonstrated to me the power of ignorance and how my ignorance had shaped my values and directed my actions. We purchased Fox Hill Hollow at the end of winter and then went travelling so it wasn’t until summer that we really got to spend some time there getting to know our piece of land. I remember feeling worried and somewhat disappointed at the fact that the land was covered with bushy tufty dried out grass that was in turn covered by crickets and other ‘inconvenient’ and unattractive insects. My ignorance of the value of grass led me to believe that our land was in bad shape, that the soil was probably pretty worthless and that we would have an up-hill battle on our hands to make the land good again. Thank goodness for our local Land Care group and our farm planning course!
So it turns out that our land is not over run by grasses that are worthless, weedy and ugly at all, in fact many of those grasses are native, some are excellent feed for animals and others will help to slow down or even prevent erosion. Of course this isn’t rocket science and I’m sure that deep down inside my head if I had thought about it I would have realised that grasslands, like every other form of habitat has its place and value but it wasn’t until I’d taken some time out to learn more and listen to the stories that the grasses told that I began to really see its beauty and potential.
Isn’t that true with everything in life?
Here are some books that are helping me to identify my grasses and learn their stories.