The lawnmower was broken. Not that I knew how to use it, anyway, as I'd spent my whole life until a year ago in lawn-less New York City. Now, though, I was in Boulder, Colo., with waist-high weeds in my yard. I refused to even consider herbicides, but my attempt to pull the weeds by hand proved futile: After several hours, all I had to show was one small patch of bare turf and an aching back. The weeds didn't bother my boyfriend, who reasoned that it was all just leafy green stuff and therefore natural and therefore good -- …
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Hillary Rosner is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colo. She is working on a master's degree in environmental studies.