Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Faux flora

.
This was my first time to see fake grass in Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem you don't see many lawns at all, normally. So the sheer area and deep green of this one caught my eye.
The Optical Center was closed for vacation for the whole of August, so I could not get through the gate to inspect their grass. I wonder if those flowers are fake as well . . .

Israel is suffering from a prolonged drought. This summer the government finally woke up and is trying to do something about saving water. So, no more watering of lawns and watering of gardens is severely restricted.

"The drought tax passed by the Knesset [July 15] is draconic and likely to cause a public outcry that will negate the purpose of the tax to begin with. The fine of NIS 20 [> $5] per cubic meter above quota is three times the average cost of NIS 6.5 per cubic meter, an
unprecedented use of strength by the government to affect [sic] a behavioral change."


The quote is from a media brief by Moreno Meister, where you can learn more about artificial turf use and costs in Israel.

You would think that we would start manufacturing the fake grass. But no.

And the stupid part is that for grass imported from countries with which we don't have certain trade agreements, the government is adding 12% customs. It should be in the national interest to lower prices, not raise them, and thus encourage water saving.
Faux grass is such a new idea for this semi-desert country that the customs folks just didn't know how to classify it, I suspect. Would you believe? They put it in the category of carpets.
.
More information in the Jerusalem Post article, "Israelis take to artificial turf."

.
ABC Wednesday celebrates the letter F today. For fun, go see what other bloggers have come up with.

25 comments:

Hilda said...

It sure doesn't fake from here.

Sorry to hear about the prolonged drought. How frequently does this happen? I hope you get some relief soon.

And why do I have the feeling that if we started importing fake turf, our Bureau of Customs just might classify it under carpet too…

Leif Hagen said...

Looks like a beautiful place even with fake grass! I'm lucky to have a naturally green lawn which needs cutting weekly. Our city enforces odd/even day lawn watering!

Reader Wil said...

Fake grass! Yea I have seen it here in Holland, where there is grass enough, as you have seen in my posts about the polders. The fake grass was put on concrete balconies and it looked alright. I myself have artificial plants in my house in front of the windows, because my neighbours always look after my house and they don't need watering these plants. They look real, so I am rather happy with them.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Artificial grass is like a baby bottle versus a human breast.

They don't feel the same.

Sara said...

It looks pretty realistic in the photos! Carpet! Well, sort of, I guess...

Here in SoCal we are supposed to be conserving water too but it hasn't gotten as bad as Israel yet. People are encouraged to plant drought tolerant gardens using native plants to this area...but I don't see many of those around here.

FA said...

Dina, in preparing my homily today, I ran across this description of the home of the Carmelite Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878) and thought of you.

"Ibillin has scenery of incomparable beauty. From the rocky peak which dominates the village, the whole of upper Galilee is viewed. The small Galilean, Mariam, would recall these sights with great nostalgia throughout her short life. To the north the lofty mountain chain, the frontier of Lebanon could be seen. On the northeast was the mighty Jebel Shaykh, the Sheikh of the Mountainsa, as the Arabs call it, snow-capped yearlong. In the east waves of hills slope down gently downward to Lake Galilee, also named Tiberias; on the south the opulent Plain of Esdralon stretches outward till meeting Mount Carmel. Northwest beyond the sand dunes sparkles the blue Mediterranean."

Do you know it?

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That is some nice fake grass. I hope that you get some rain soon.

RuneE said...

Or you could turn it the other way around - you don't have to mow this "carpet". I hate mowing the lawn. It grows above my ears - ana I have two (both lawns and ears, that is).

Dina said...

Thanks all, for your amusing suggestions and comments. :)

Hilda, the drought is 5 years already. Our main source, the Sea of Galilee, is dangerously low.

FA Fr. Adam, Thanks for telling us about Sr. Mariam. I enjoyed going off to read her story. It is new to me. Will she become a saint this year?

I have not been in Ibillin (Iblin). But the vistas from other high places in the Upper Galilee are also indeed breathtaking.

Ibillin is a town of over 11,000. Almost half are Christians and the rest, Muslims. It is famous today for Abouna Elias Chacour.

In 2006 the Vatican and the Catholic Bishops' Synod appointed for the first time an Israeli Hebrew-speaking citizen to preside over Israel's Greek Catholic community (the Melkite Church). Archbishop Chacour is known world-wide for his peace activism and work for Arab-Israeli reconciliation. He was nominated three times for the Nobel peace prize.

He has developed a fine school system, the Mar Elias Educational Institutions. He calls his "crowning achievement" his establishment of a school for practical engineering in Ibillin, the first Arabic institution in Israel offering a first degree.

BTW, the kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high are all named Mariam Bawardi. The village is proud of its Blessed Mariam Baouardy, your Melkite Greek Catholic Carmelite nun.

Cloudia said...

Leave it to the beaurocrats to fiddle while folks LONG for luxurious, water-saving, artificial turf.....
Aloha parched one ;-]


Comfort Spiral

Roger Owen Green said...

faux grass. Sad, I think, but I suppose necessary. On the other hand, i HATE mowing the lawn. Hmmm...

Leslie: said...

We have lots of fake grass around here for the soccer teams to play on in the rain.

Tumblewords: said...

Fascinating - I can see how this is going to come about in many places but it surely doesn't seem like the powers have a really good grasp on the situation.

Dimple said...

Actually carpet is not that strange a classification-it is a large piece of material which is placed to be walked on! Although I suppose that it would fit just as well into the same category as artificial potted plants.

So it's come to this... said...

The things we take for granted here... The grounds are beautiful artificial or not

Ann said...

Yes, its far too green to be real. We've just lowered our water restrictions, I think by one level. You could always do what the Italians here used to do, concrete everything and paint it green.

Grace and Bradley said...

I have never seen fake grass before. Your point is well taken, the government should promote more laying (not planting) fake grass. We keep only fake plants in the house now. We travel so much, it is not possible to keep real plant anymore.

kikamz said...

This is something new.. They do look real from your photos.

I hope the drought will be over soon!

jay said...

It sounds like a necessary step, although I'd worry that the fake grass has a huge carbon footprint and may not be any better than watering lawns looking at the big picture.

Don't they have drought resistant grass in some areas? I know the stuff in Florida is nothing like our UK grass!

Pietro said...

Maybe those flowers are fake too: I think it can be seen, drawing near, by their unnatural colors.

cieldequimper said...

Optical did you say? You are sure that the heat and drought didn't make for an optical illusion? ;-)The Sea of Galilee being low is just one of those XXIst century global warming things, isn't it. Scary.

Kay said...

It sure looks real from your photo but you know....

Since it's a desert area, why not put in a desert type landscape? I say that even as Americans sod and resod grass in most lawns using chemicals and poisons to keep it looking green.

cewmont said...

I need fake grass. That looks a lot better than my lawn!

jeannette stgermain said...

Do we know about prolonged drought in California? Yes, definitely! Just this spring they we going to put the same rule as in Jerusalem in effect (but they never follow all the way through with the fine - you always still see some people wash their driveway, water their lawn), but that same weekend the weather got cooler.
I could see it under the same heading as carpet:)

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

I like the idea of faux flora (fake grass). It looks lush and green like the real thing, Dina. And exorbitant tax on water (?). I think that's what many countries need to encourage their people to conserve water. Another great idea.