Wednesday, April 9, 2008


City hires sheep to mow lawns
Published, United Press International: April 3, 2008 at 5:47 PM

TURIN, Italy, April 3 (UPI) -- The city of Turin, Italy, said it has found a way to save money on landscaping at city parks -- officials recruited two herds of sheep to eat the grass.The first of the two herds began feasting on the grass Thursday at Meisino Park and the second is scheduled to begin grazing Monday at Sangone Park, ANSA reported.City officials said the sheep, which were also employed to trim park lawns last year, are expected to save the city nearly $50,000 in lawn-mowing fees.''I came here last year as well and it worked out really well. The city saved money and kept the park clean, while I saved money by not having to rent fields to graze my sheep,'' shepherd Federico Tombolato, who owns one of the herds, told ANSA.The sheep are scheduled to graze in city parks for two months.In 2007, the city began using sheep to trim city park lawns and attempted to use cattle at one park. However, the city concluded that using cattle was less practical due to the amount of waste they produce, ANSA said.

Whenever I come across another example of how cool Italy is, I wonder in what deep ways their culture & collective consciousness was affected by the fall of the Roman Empire. And then I get to dreaming about the how America will be in a couple hundred years...

I have a pretty yucky head-cold today, so all the fun tractor work was done by the guys, while I spent most of the day holed up in the greenhouse. A volunteer helped me in the morning plant onions & spinach, and we potted up some tomato plants, pepper plants, & celeriac. It was an unseasonably warm overcast day, it felt like summer, except there are no leaves on the trees.

Tiny celeriac seedlings are removed from a 20-row tray where they were densely planted, and individually put into larger blocks. Doing it this way saves room initially in the greenhouse, and ensures you get one plant in each block.This is an onion seeding tray, designed & built by Farmer Dave, of course. It has 2 plexiglass sheets with holes in them. You put seeds in the top to fill the holes, then line them up by sliding the bottom sheet & all your seeds dump out onto the soil of your seed tray.

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