ethnobotany permaculture tending the wild

Native yarrow brodiaea yampah chia lawns

yampah (Perideridia kelloggii)
yampah (Perideridia kelloggii)

Alright, this is not the place to talk about how the standard lawn is a major contributor to ecological devastation worldwide.      You probably wouldn’t be reading something called FERAL if you didn’t already know that.   I recently came across a front lawn which was made of yarrow (Achillea millefolium). I’m sure it needs no more than rainwater with its deep taproot.  It was beautiful.  Now is this appropriate if you are going to have children running around playing on the lawn all day?   Probably not.  But I will share this observation:   most lawns are not used by anything, ever.  Dogs poop on them perhaps.   They are for show, or just a continuation of a long dead meme that the light of consciousness has never shone.

So let’s say you want to change your lawn without becoming a permaculture hippie or whatever, make it more sustainable.  Move beyond that old landscaping meme.   Many people plant natives, which usually big grasses, bushes, and trees, which is not what many people want.   What if we planted natives like yarrow, yampah, brodiaea, chia, and others that are very small plants that make amazing foods but only if really enough if you have a gigantic cluster of them, let’s say, like a lawn.   Little  or no irrigation.  Attracts native  pollinators (think honey bee apocalypse.)    Let’s try this!   It can’t be worse than most front lawns I see.

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