While my son was growing up, we read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books aloud to each other, probably several times for each book. This winter, as the snows kept coming, I got a yearning to read The Long Winter again and the agronomist in me became re-fascinated with the idea of Pa and Laura twisting slough grass into sticks to burn after their coal ran out. At Purdue I learned about alfalfa and timothy, but slough grass hadn’t been covered. Just what IS slough grass? I still don’t really know the technical answer to that, but I do think I have a picture now! After our picnic at Briggs Woods park, we slipped off the road to Baurer Slough. It was still pretty brown and bleak looking, but I hope to go back when it is green, and maybe sometime when it is teeming with water fowl!
I wonder if Laura would be honored or amused to know that in 2010, we are talking again about using grasses for fuel…not twisted sticks of slough grass, but cellulosic ethanol!