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Farmer Peppy on Vineyard Mowing

To mow or not to mow? The Americas are built upon a prairie system -- a symbiosis of grasses and grazers. Previously, the natural ecosystem mainly existed off of bison, elk, and deer. Now days, a combination of animal and machine is necessary to repair damaged land. As perennial grasses grow upwards, they drill roots deep into the soil allowing for water permeation and storage. When the grass is cut from the top, it naturally releases portions of these roots, which feed microflora and continue the cycle of life. Unlike turf grass, native grasses are only meant to be mowed once or twice a year based on rainfall.

We opted to use the BCS walk behind tractor with flail mower attachment, which uses rotating “Y” blades to convert biomass into an evenly distributed pulp. Without mowing or grazing, plant matter will simply die, deoxidize, and blow away in the wind, promoting desertification. It will take time to mow our producing land, but we are making Hank Hill proud one day at a time!

Photos by Granger Coats

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