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November 6, 2006

Food Not Lawns?

food not lawns
I'm all for conservation, environmental awareness and sustainable gardening but why is it that whenever someone has a point to make they always pick an unrelated activity to compare it to?

I've just read this article, Food not Lawns, where another obscure columnist has decided to pick on those who enjoy keeping a lawn. Why didn't they choose "Food Not Parks" or "Food Not City Entry Statements"?

A book of the same name has been written by Heather Flores, a permaculture designer, pointing the finger at our desire to have and keep lawns. What permaculturalists don't get is that lawns and sustainable gardening are not mutually exclusive.

We have a vast area of lawn within our gardens and are also contemplating installing an aquaponics system in our backyard. Both can be supported on a small suburban block.

When is someone going to write a book called "Food And Lawns."

October 18, 2006

Inventor turns line trimmer into a hand held mower

Trevor McCoid, a Kiwi inventor, is set to revolutionise the small space garden mowing options. His invention of adapting a line trimmer to become a hand held mower is fast becoming a mini-success story.

McCoid tinkered with an electric line trimmer with a view to replace petrol powered hover mowers. His invention is now being developed in Taiwan by manufacturer Jenn Feng (better known for the Talon brand) and promises to be on the New Zealand and US markets soon.

The advantages are obvious; electric powered, easy maneouvrability and cheap to purchase it's sure to be a winner. On the downside, unless you have a small space garden, lugging this mower for any length of time could become quite strenuous on your arms.

But with the increase in high density living, this is only going to become more popular.

May 31, 2006

Drinking while mowing

drinking lawn mowing We've all heard the "Don't Drink while Driving" messages and may have even been warned about drinking while skippering a water vessel, but have we stopped to contemplate drinking while mowing. There are many of us gardeners who don't mind, in the middle of the summer heat, throwing back a couple of cold ones while walking behind our push mowers.

Is there a possible risk? Sure. Consider operating a bandsaw or powersaw after having a couple of beers and you will realise it's the same issue at stake. Alcohol slows the brain's impulses down and reaction times become tardier. We can make poor judgments that we wouldn't make had we been completely sober.

There are plenty of mower operators who have had close calls with blades, or who have allowed small children to play with mowers after they've had a few that should jolt us into making good decisions about the intake of alcohol while we operate small machinery.

If you want to have a drink while mowing the lawn, keep it to water and hold the beer on ice until you've put the mower back in the shed.

May 27, 2006

Lawn mower catalytic converters

catalytic converter
As the world becomes more 'green' expect to see more environmental regulations imposed on lawn mowers. From January 1, 2007 Californian residents won't be able to buy a fuel powered mower without a catalytic converter being installed and there is talk that retro-fitting existing lawn mowers may also become an issue.

Lawn mowers emit 93 times more pollution than a car and while many of us are protected in the vehicle emitting the noxious gases the same doesn't apply for lawn mowers. We walk behind or sit atop them breathing in the fumes as we mow.

While catalytic converters may be the current discussion for environmental regulators don't be surprised to see some debate on decibel levels either. It seems the humble lawn mower is destined to be pulled into the 'green" 21st century kicking and screaming.

Catalytic Converters coming soon to a lawn mower near you

May 1, 2006

Environmentalists warn of fuel powered mower emissions

lawn mower emissions
The end of fuel-powered lawn mowers could be under more scrutiny as environmentalists latch on to the facts that these types of mowers emit more harmful gases per litre of fuel than your average car. This article, To keep the garden green this summer, lay off the mower reported by the UK's News Telegraph is hoping to prompt readers to change their lawn mowing habits.

The environmental groups want gardeners to use machines that emit fewer gases such as electric mowers or better still hand-powered mowers. While this is a great way to head, for those with larger areas this is just not practical. Something the report failed to consider was that most people don't use their lawn mowers as often as they drive their cars so while they may not be as efficient they're not operating for the same time spans.

What are your opinions? Do you think that regulators should start to dictate what lawn mowers we and can't use?

  • Stuart Robinson
  • Busselton, Australia
  • Email Me

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