Back when I was a youngster, I was forced to spend many hours upon a tractor, mowing acres upon acres of foolish lawn, huffing exhaust and damaging my hearing all the while (thanks parents!). As I sat on my buttocks for extended periods of time, I would often set my mind to thinking upon different fantastical technologies one could use to trim grass with less pain and more ease. Most of what I came up with was nebulously defined at best, but it usually involved laser beams.
Yes indeed. Obviously laser beams would, at the push of a button (perhaps after turning a key or some other nuclear launch button safety device), shoot out over your lawn at the specified height, neatly snipping the tips of every blade in sight, perhaps even incinerating the trimmings (if you’re the bag-em-up type). I envisioned this system as one you would install once, with the beams and mirrors placed in all the right spots to get behind every tree and down into every contour of the lawn. Ever afterwards, your juvenile life would be free of toil and full of recreation and joy.
I am now reminded of this technology every time we move the animals and their portable electric fences. They each have their own munching styles, but in general the combination of energized fences and hungry hungry animals ensures a laser-like cut of grass… every single blade right up to the fence line. When I move fence I feel like I am setting up my childhood Lazer-Mow system, defining the boundaries and coordinates within which the grass shall be trimmed to my specifications. Up and down hills, over gullies, around trees and rocks. Nothing fazes the herbivorous lawnmowing machine.
Best of all, it’s also fertilizing the soil, reseeding the pasture, generating meat or milk or wool or oxen-power, the only noise is some cute bleating or the occasional moo, and it’s much less odiferous than a tractor. It feels like a much better use of technology, to gently guide nature with some solar powered fence chargers and a roll of fence, instead of trying to dominate it completely with hundreds of pounds of iron and gasoline and hours of someone’s precious time.