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Prairie grass is like an ocean of grain

Grass...such a taken-for-granted cornerstone of nature!

I'm delighted to see that ornamental grasses and native grasses are increasingly catching people's attention. Humble but essential, underfoot, getting crushed and eaten...the fiber of the protein conversion process for many wild animals.

Grass...however you describe it...
... long necked with big hair
... long arms that stretch to the moon
... humble clusters and communities
... a waving sea of golden succulence

...or you describe the beauty, the elegance, the diversity of subtle design. Grass is a great untapped source of horticultural fascination.

And where better to learn about grass than America's great plains and the prairies and meadows that stretch from here to the sunset! Aside from the emotional admiration, it is important to understand the ecological role that grasses and their neighbors play in the ecosystems in which they turn hardpan into aerable soil. How they provide food for birds, mammals, insects, and yes, expecially people.

Where would we be without wheat, rye, oats, sunflowers and various other forms of seeds and grains that thrive in our prairie lands.

To learn more, check out this book excerpt:

Prairyerth, by William Least Heat-Moon. It is an in-depth book about the ecology, geology, and human history of eastern Kansas.

And if you haven't visited a prairie lately, maybe it's time to take a pilgrimage through a unique spiritual path ... a walk through grasses.

For more articles about NATIVE GARDENING

Green scenes can help children endure stresses
Alternative & Natural Housing Journal
Butterfly and Caterpillar Gardening and the Environment
Rocky Slopes for Habitat
Controlling Slugs and Snails
Organic BAckyard Care - Insects