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About this blog

Joe Fearn is a professional groundskeeper. We writes about reconciling economic, aesthetic, functional, and environmental needs in the landscape.

Entries in this blog

Sustainable Organic Material Management

Organic matter (OM) is everywhere in the landscape. Given that OM is a key component of nutrient cycling and soil structure, it only makes sense we treat it as a valuable commodity. In any landscape OM is generated when we intervene mechanically (think mowing, pruning), when we clean the landscape (think leaf removal). OM is also utilized/handled (think mulching or soil amendment). Every time we “manage” OM we incur a cost whether financially or in ecological disruption. Added to this cost is th

Managing Landscapes in a New Weather Paradigm...

As of writing today Kansas City is 6.49” below our average YTD rainfall of 27.42”. Additionally, over the last 6 weeks our average temperature has been 3F over average. In the last 28 days we have had 12 days over 80, 7 days over 90, and 9 days over 100. One of those days the high was 112F. Most people don’t dig into climate numbers to this extent, and it is important to know this isn’t just my opinion. But rainfall this summer is not the focus of this writing. Rather I want to share my sense of

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability

Raising Mowing Height Makes Sustainability Sense

Grounds management in any organization is a complex undertaking requiring the performance of myriad tasks necessary to fulfill the desired strategic objectives. For many, if not most of our grounds crews, sustainability is one of those strategic objectives. While sustainability is a moving target based on one’s definition, sustainability for me means decreasing resource consumption while increasing resource service. Too often pursuing sustainability is a complex undertaking resulting in difficul

What Am I Missing?

I don’t want to wait any longer. I have long contemplated a sustainable landscape that that is acceptable to my organization, achievable by my team and profession, and importantly, beneficial to the environment/ecosystem. But year after year I dance around this subject making gains here, losing ground there, and never really getting down the road to something that answers all of these hugely diverse and sometimes antagonistic objectives. The sad truth is I really cannot say what I am after. What

Joseph Fearn

Joseph Fearn in Sustainability


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