Bikeeny Caffe hosted the Natural Lawn Care for Healthy Soils Challenge on June 29. In this challenge, people participated in a friendly competition with Medford to pledge to keep established lawns natural by forgoing the use of quick-release fertilizer, chemical pesticides and herbicides. Ocean River Institute (ORI) summer interns Aditi Mukhopadhyay, Ken Stephens, Anand Fedele and Zeke Cochin distributed natural lawn stickers featuring a worm and beneficial springtail. They also invited people to tell their legislators to support An Act establishing Massachusetts Right Whale Day (H.3869) on April 24.
According to the Bikeeny Caffe website, a bikeeny is a “European style pastry made of flaky dough with fillings such as fruit, nuts or cheese.” At Bikeeny Caffe, the Asiago cheese bikeeny tied with the Nutella bikeeny for favorite pastry, although further tasting research is warranted before narrowing the bikeeny field.
Malden residents can save money on lawn care while saving bees and the organisms that contribute to healthy soil and plants: worms, microbes, archaea, springtails, nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades. Grass plants are fed by fungi and bacteria as part of the vast mycorrhizae network called the “wood wide web.”
Residential lawns that are not fertilized or watered have been found to have 36 species of plants between the grass blades and flowers for 94 species of bees when the lawns were cut every two weeks – fewer bee species when cut every three weeks. Apparently, more bees prefer the shorter grass.
According to ORI:
- Lawn grasses are the best plants at fighting climate change because with photosynthesis grasses push carbohydrates (liquid carbon) out of their root tips to build soil.
- For every ton of root exudate, grasses pull four tons of carbon dioxide out of the air.
- A natural lawn can build an inch of soil in a year. For an acre of lawn, that means removing 100 tons of carbon dioxide.
- With more than 2,000 square miles of residential lawns in Massachusetts, much can be done lawn-by-lawn to reverse climate change.
Bikeeny Caffe’s goal is for more natural lawns to provide refuge and natural corridors for more wildlife – more emerald bracelets for Malden.