Permaculture in Practice
According to a story carried by NPR, Paris is replacing lawn mowers with sheep, at least at in a small corner of the city. At the Paris city archives in the eastern edge of the city, four sheep are responsible for “mowing” the archives lawns. A similar experiment was undertaken a year ago at the Louvre, which used two goats to mow the lawn of the Tuileries Garden in Central Paris.
Indeed, the idea has become so widespread that a business, Mouton (French for sheep) has sprung up. The business owns 100 sheep which are rented as lawnmowers to companies and government offices across France.
For its proponents, it’s an eco-friendly solution to the problem of maintaining green spaces. Sheep require no gasoline. And unlike the CO2 that contributes to global climate change, the waste from sheep attracts insects (and thus birds) and contributes to soil fertility as it decomposes.
The idea has been less popular in Paris, though, as concerns over the safety of tourists (and rams) has put a damper on more widespread adoption. Still, one does wonder if the tradition of urban livestock rearing common in many African cities like Cairo is the future of Paris?