In the fifties, there was a groundswell among consumers to do work in less
time, and take that extra time to go fishing or spend quality time with the
So, in comes the riding mower. The idea was that what once took you four
hours to do with inefficient tools would now take one hour, net gain three
hours for napping or fishing or golfing, or whatever.
Net result of riding lawnmowers?
You could have more grass.
Same with most "labor saving" devices. You don't save time, which is then
squandered on frivolous pursuits. You can do more work in the same amount
of time, so now you can have and maintain more "stuff."
You are so right. Consider the modern washer and dryer. In the old days,
only the wealthy could afford to change clothes several times a day and have
the dirty ones cleaned. Now, it is *easy* to wash and dry clothes, so we
just wear more different items and wash clothes more frequently. We
probably spend just as much or more time doing laundry today as ever...
Computers are another time consumer. Used to be we spent an hour figuring
up something (say business options) using paper and pencil. Today, we invest
the same hour but get ten times the number of options, figured down to the
2nd decimal place. The extra options are generally non-starters, and
figuring guesstimates down to the 2nd decimal place is pretty much a waste
There nothing like getting out at the crack of dawn, turning on
your riding mower, putting a cooler of Lawnmower Ale in back, and
start cutting. It takes about two and a half beers per acre. When
you're done, you clean up the mower, go inside, mention how tired
you are, and crash. It's terrific.
Just make sure you leave your wive a list of every thing you need
for your Sunday morning two six-pack project!
i remember when mowing on a riding tractor seemed relaxing ..now the
zero turns with more horepower and manuverability make it a quick as
you can chore. (by choice i know) i remember when i was growing up
hearing that in the future with all the new inventions to come,life
would be easy,and there would be alot more spare time. .........but in
reality, as far as work goes, they push you just as hard to get more
done. guess your gettin old when you say.."i remember when....."...
Well, sorta. In reality space is the buffer, i.e., more room between
you and the next guy. The undesireable IMO result is lawn as you have
to do -something- with that vast expanse or you have a jungle or a
Never seen the opening like you describe. I did a house years ago for a man
who owned a window company. He had a double set of single glazed windows
installed one on the inside and one on the outside. They slid up to open.
This installation was LONG before double glazed windows were common in the
For some strange reason, cutting down everything on the property
is a rather common trait in home building. Then you have to buy
back your own topsoil...
It's a good idea to consider "filling in" gaps etc., as part
of good management practises.
If you can find a source of seedling trees (eg: a reforestation
nursery), particularly conifers, you can plant a lot for cheap,
and they usually require _no_ maintenance.
Back in '93, we bought 250 white pines for about $50 and planted
them ourselves. Now some of them are >30', we've had <5% failure,
and we haven't done a _thing_ to maintain them.
Back in 2000 we did it again with about 600 trees (white pine,
red pine, red oak and some shrubs) - about $170 worth of trees
and another $150 worth of teenage labor ;-)
[An experienced seedling planter can do well over 100 trees
an hour - in fact, a _good_ one up to about 400/hour depending
on site conditions.]
Deciduous trees need a bit of assistance, and as a result of not
giving them very much, they didn't do that well (70% failure
rate is not considered unusual). But the pines are doing
extremely well (<10% loss).
[The nursery used to be an arm of the provincial government, which
was subsequently "sold" to the employees, and now they run it.
They'll even send someone out to help you plan out what/how much
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
<<a jungle or a hayfield>>
Just let it grow for 5 years. Then rent a self-propelled walk-behind
high-powered brush mower (at least 30" cut with 17HP or better motor)
and clear out all the weeds and bramble and smaller trees. Make a few
wide paths that can be maintained with a riding mower.
I did this on 5 acres of my property and it looks great. Some of the
trees are 18' tall after only 5 years. What a view from the bay
window. In the middle I made a small clearing for a secluded picnic
area surrounded by Honeysuckle and Serviceberry and Russian Olive.
On Mon, 15 May 2006 20:44:20 -0500, Richard J Kinch
That's insane. A HEDGE is the price of privacy.
The lawn should be big enough to serve as a fire-break
and any yard-based games/work you've got to do,
and beyond that should be gardens, orchards, meadow,
ponds, tree-farm, or something. Large expanses of
lawn are a symptom of an ego problem, a paucity
of imagination, or someone who needs a clear field
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