The grass isn’t always greener

Read the full story at Q Magazine.

America’s largest irrigated crop is not corn, soy, or anything else you might find in the commodity marketplace. It’s turf grass: the crop that American homeowners grow in pursuit of the dream of a lush, green, manicured lawn. According to NASA, the United States has around 40 million acres of turf grass, which is an area roughly equivalent to that of the state of Wisconsin. This makes turf grass our largest irrigated crop and one that has replaced scores of diverse habitats for wildlife. Turf grass helps lawn-owners achieve a long-cherished suburban fantasy, but it does not produce food or anything else useful for the environment. In fact, the dream of a pristine lawn comes at a high cost, requiring excessive inputs like water, gas, and chemicals. What might it take to reimagine the American lawn?  

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