Having worked through a record-smashing drought on an Eastern Colorado ranch, I swore then to never speak of rain (or its results) in negative terms. How that declaration has been tested this year, as we capped out at a two-month record of 33.5″ of rainfall. Hard to believe that much moisture has hit the ground, but the clockwork pattern of afternoon rainfall certainly supports it. Just think — 33.5″ — That’s a full year’s rain average for some of the wetter parts of the country. Take that, combined with the unrelenting heat and humidity characteristic of North Florida, and it has felt more like South AMERICA than it has “the southeast.”
Moisture means grass, and we have a lot of it. Can’t have too much of a good thing, right? And man, do the animals love it. It breeds and houses a cosmos of bugs that ultimately feed our chickens, while the grass itself becomes fodder for the horses and goats. Unfortunately for humans, however, grass ultimately becomes a nuisance — something I struggle with as a grass connoisseur — but hey, I get it: it itches bare legs; it casts a neglected look about the place; it hides sharp objects and holes; it makes mosquitoes and ants and who-knows-what feel more than welcome.
So after a lot of resisting, rationalizing, and finally breaking the back of a tried-and-true push mower, we got a ride-on. Hurray.
Nostalgic mid-century tractor it is NOT, nor does it come with the associated aesthetic/cool points. All the same, in a matter of hours the little guy has put a bigger dent in my grass cache than the two horses have all summer. And the yard looks super fresh. Like golf course status.
Never one to think of myself as the type to get caught up in the appearance of a well-cut lawn, but here I am. The back eight acres can remain feral and free, but from now on we can finally put our best face forward to the guests and delivery men and all other assortment of characters who encounter Tumble Farm from the front driveway.