Back Forty, voluntary simplicity

grass seed and a reel mower

I came home from JCCFS to a healthy crop of grass seed. You see, our lawn mower, a cheap cantankerous machine that came with the purchase of our house in 2001, is in disrepair. We have occasionally been able to get it going by holding our mouths right and kicking the tires, but this time the crank cord broke. Again. Sandy tried to fix it and says that he just made things worse. This is situation normal at our house. We also have a vacuum cleaner that gave up the ghost a few weeks ago.

We decided that instead of dealing with gas cans and spark plugs and crank cords, we’ll go back to pushing a reel mower. We used one years ago, but I lent it to someone and forgot about it. When they tried to return it, silly me said, “Oh no, I didn’t even know it was missing, just keep it.” Of course, now we need it.

We bought one at McKnight Hardware for 109.95. It comes with a sharpening kit. I’m going to start going to McKnight instead of driving out to Lowes. I believe it is locally owned, and it is near the farmer’s market. We usually try to check Holliday Hardware for small hardware needs, but they have a very small store and do not carry the things I buy on a regular basis, such as sacks of topsoil and straw.

The reel mower performs well, except of course for the tall tough seed stalks, which I had to get with the weed whacker. It’s a little more effort, but hopefully by this time next year almost all of the back yard will be covered in garden beds and we’ll only have the tiny front yard to mow.


forgot to mention the garden work I did today:

-removed most of the reemay blankets.
-planted watermelon and cantaloupe toward the front.
-a few green beans on the left side – need to plant more as the carrots and lettuce come out.
-field peas in the left middle.
-nasturiums in the left front.
-basil in the middle front.
-moved the peppers to the middle front.
-cucumbers and yellow squash in the middle back. This is where I intend for my woodland perennials to eventually go so I don’t expect a lot from this. Just an experiment with free seeds.

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