Monthly Archives: March 2010

Easun NaturCut Classic vs. Ideal

The Easun NaturCut Classic HD: The Easun NaturCut Classic HD

Easun NaturCut Classic Push Reel Mower

Naturcut Ideal 40

is a nearly all metal mower. It is powered with 10′ wheels and cuts from 1.5″ to 3.5″. The 10″ wheels add torque to the blades. It has rear wheels which makes the Classic maneuver well in high grass. The Classic has six fixed cutting height settings. The reel blades are 16″ wide.

The Easun NaturCut Ideal 40: The Easun NaturCut Ideal 40 is powered by 10″ wheels and cuts from .6″ to 2.75″. The 10″ wheels add torque to the blades. It has the traditional rear roller bar which helps stripe the grass. The Ideal fully adjusts from .6″ to 2.75″. The reel blades are 16″ wide.

The Difference: So the difference between the two mowers is the height which the mowers cut. And the Classic has the rear wheels, the Ideal has the rear roller. Lastly nearly all of the components on the Classic are metal, and the Classic weighs a few pounds more than the Ideal. For folks who want to cut their grass high, there is the Classic. For folks who want to cut their grass short, there is the Ideal. Both mowers have the option of a Grass Catcher.

A Composter Which Can Handle 5 Gallons Per Day

Composting history: We have been selling compost makers for many years. First there were composters made for one family. These were tumbling machines, turning machines, gravitational machines, and batch machines. All handled the amount of waste which one family produced.

2nd Generation: The next phase of compost makers seemed to focus on industrial needs such as schools, businesses, hospitals, etc. These composting machines were very large and very expensive. Small units cost in the $20,000 range and large ones in the $80,000 range.

3rd Generation: Now we see a new focus. This effort targets an in between group, let’s say a 10 family to 15 family output. Or you could say it would service the output of four or five classrooms. We have just made an agreement with a company which is marketing the Biolan 220 and the Biolan 550. Produced in Finland these composting units are new to the US. We will have the 220 and 550 on our site in the next few days. We are excited to add these composting machines as they allow us to enter a new market. The Biolan 550 easily handles 5 gallons of waste per day. It takes 6 weeks to begin producing compost. These composters are excellent in cold climates.

Get Your Reel Mower Ready For Spring

Annual Maintenance: Each spring you should check the condition of your reel mower. If it has not been cleaned with WD-40 since your last use you should clean it. Spray the blades with WD-40 and wipe clean. Remove any dirt and grass clippings from bed-knife. Remove dirt from the wheels.

Safety Check: Check all the nuts and bolts on the machine. Tighten all so that connections are secure. Make sure handles are secure. If you have a Brill, NaturCut, or Fiskars Momentum, you’ll need to adjust the blades.

Blade Adjustment: Check the manual for your mower on how to adjust the blades. With the Brill and NaturCut mowers you were sent a gauge. The Fiskars adjusts without a gauge. Adjustment should be done each spring. Keep the gauge in a safe place.

2 New Videos of Brill Reel Mowers in Action

Here are 2 new videos of the Brill RazorCut reel mowers in action. One will show you how easy it is and the other will show you the mower cutting in longer grass. You may want to compare these to the Fiskars reel mower Videos we posted earlier this week.

First: Ladies, this will show you how easy mowing can be. Notice how she can lift the mower easily and push it around with one hand. And wave ;)

And next, the Brill RazorCut reel mower in longer grass:

The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need

Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don’t need. And, once you read about them, you probably won’t want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks. Read the whole really great article here.

1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics.

2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners – and these are the three nastiest.

3. Canned food: Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven’t found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes).

4. Pesticides:  Kill things. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds – next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.

5. Dry-cleaning: perchloroethyleneA…really nasty. Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc “to measurably increase their risk of cancer” – by as much as 150 times what is considered “negligible risk.”

6. Bottled water: From manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution – making our water even less drinkable.

7. Rubber duckies:  made from PVC – the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle.

8. Couch cushions: anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation.

9. Perfume and cologne: Contain phthalates – suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders. Rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.

10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study.

13 Years & 60,000 Mowers of Experience Tells Us…

We have a page on our site called “Why buy from PPM” which I keep meaning to update. With all the web competition out there, and just having returned all energized from the green-expo, I just wanted to emphasize there is a difference when buying from a large many-products drop-ship model of online store and a web store like ppm- where products are tested, selected, and enthusiastically supported.

13 YEARS, AND  60,000 MOWERS SOLD

As of 2010, we have over 13  years in this business and are approaching 60,000 mowers sold. We have been around since Netscape 2.0 and have sold reel mowers way before environmental concerns were fashionable. Our commitment is not newly fashioned. Our expertise is hard-earned. And our mission is unquestionable. We are known for our great customer service, quick shipping, and expertise in areas such as school composting curriculums, solar installations, and industrial composting.

WE KNOW OUR PRODUCTS AND HOW TO HELP YOU

But one of the major reasons to buy from Peoplepoweredmachines.com is we are real people. We  will pick up the phone and answer your product questions, AND we have worked hard to select just a few products we believe in…not just selling everything that comes our way. So when your reel mower makes that funny noise, we can help. When that little part breaks, we can help. When your dog eats your manual, or replacement parts, we can or at least try to help (or suggest a pet poo composter!).

All the best, and happy spring!

David Temple

Water footprints- Darn, do I really have to give up chocolate and wine :(

Today is World Water Day and of all the articles I read, it was the simple numbers of our daily food choices that grabbed me. Of particular note, my favorite foods from butter, olives, chocolate and wine are all water-wasting choices. Darn. And isn’t it surprising that lettuce is low on the list? I thought that would take more water to keep hydrated. Go figure.

Note: In general these figures have been derived from work done by Waterfootprint.org and represent gallons of water consumed per pound of food (except for beverages, whose volumes are listed). They represent global averages, not specific conditions in any one place.

Fruits, Vegetables & Grains

Lettuce — 15 gallons;
Tomatoes — 22 gallons;
Cabbage — 24 gallons;
Cucumber — 28 gallons;
Potatoes — 30 gallons;
Oranges — 55 gallons;
Apples — 83 gallons;
Bananas — 102 gallons;
Corn — 107 gallons;
Peaches or Nectarines — 142 gallons;
Wheat Bread — 154 gallons;
Mango — 190 gallons;
Avocado — 220 gallons;
Tofu — 244 gallons;
Groundnuts — 368 gallons;
Rice — 403 gallons;
Olives — 522 gallons;
Chocolate
— 2847 gallons;

Meat & Dairy

This is where water intensity really starts increasing. If you want to reduce the water footprint of your diet, this is where you want to really cut back:

Eggs — 573 gallons;
Chicken — 815 gallons;
Cheese
— 896 gallons;
Pork
— 1630 gallons;
Butter
— 2044 gallons;
Beef
— 2500-5000 gallons; (Global figures for the water intensity of beef vary so significantly that an average isn’t particularly informative, so a range of figures is given)

And Drinks:

Tea (8oz) — 7 gallons;
Beer, barley (8oz) — 36 gallons;
Coffee (8oz) — 29 gallons;
Wine (8oz) — 58 gallons;

Compost Pail really absorbs odors, holds more

compost pail that absorbs odors and hold a lot!

ODORLESS COUNTER COMPOST PAIL LETS YOU TAKE OUT THE COMPOST LESS.

This compost bucket looks simple, like it’s no big deal. But it really does hold more while absorbing the oder (key if you are going to take out the compost less). There are several stainless steel compost buckets out there…THIS is the one that really works. It’s odor filter works for around 6 months, but we have had several “green” customers write in to explain you can rinse and dry those filters to reuse…so we hope more people will buy less filters (yes you read that right) and try this method to re reuse them.

CUSTOMERS REALLY LOVE THIS SIMPLE PRODUCT

Many, many customers who have purchased our very cool looking counter top stainless steel compost pail have written to confirm that these filters really work.

Although this appears to be nothing more than an expensive stainless steel bucket, it is perfect for my kitchen scrap storage. The filter really does keep the odor from my kitchen. I find it can hold about a week’s worth of scraps (unless I get crazy cooking). The wide mouth allows me to put the vegie peels or coffee grounds in without touching anything inside or spilling it all over the counter. It’s easy to empty, and easy to clean. It looks nice on my countertop, unlike the plastic pail I had previously. – Anne

The fruit flies and smell of the previous compost bucket were causing my roommates to rebel against our continuing to compost at all. I bought this little pail, and the problems are solved. NO fruit flies (yay!) and there are times when we’ve had stuff in there for weeks that we’d forgotten about, brewing a truly nasty moldy mess, but still no smell (until we open the pail, of course). We’ve had it several months now and have not felt a need to change the filter yet; it still seems to be working fine. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have the self-discipline to take out composting scraps every day. – Rick

For years our garbage has gone into a 1 gallon plastic pitcher. No amount of washing could keep it socially acceptable. A new era began with the purchase of this wonderful little can. It’s very sturdy, the top fits securely but not tightly (can be opened with one hand every time) and you can’t smell a thing! Capacity is generous. I’m in love! – Jenny

This is a sturdy, attractive product that does exactly what you want it to do. Looks unobtrusive on the counter, holds the odors in just as advertised. Makes composting easy and mess free. -David

Yes, we’ve been using this for a long time now and it IS a five star product. Not because the filters are “reasonably priced and available”, but because I found you can wash the filters with dish soap, air dry. and they are good for weeks or months again! – Kim

AND A GREAT TIP FOR REUSING THE FILTERS BY THIS CUSTOMER:

This is a wonderful product. High quality and the odor filter is fabulous… I had onions and garlic in mine and asked my husband to guess what was inside and he said he couldn’t smell a thing. Perfect for collecting kitchen scraps without having to take them out to the compost pile daily. It’s attractive, light weight, a good capacity for weekly collections (you wouldn’t want to keep scraps in your kitchen much longer anyway), and well designed. I would definitely buy this again. -Kirk

Small Electric Riding Mower gets great customer reviews

We are getting notes like the one below about this new 2010 product- the Recharge Electric Riding Mower.

I used to use a push mower to mow 3/4 acre because i did not want the hassle of maintaining a traditional riding lawn mower. After reviewing several different riding lawn mowers, I decided on the Recharge Mower. It was delivered within a week of placing my order. It came almost completely assembled and took only 15 minutes to attach the seat and steering wheel. The instructions and tools to install these items were also included. The mower is sooooooo simple to operate and makes cutting my lawn so much easier. In addition, I love the fact that it is completely maintenance free, makes very little noise, and good for the environment.

Recharge Electric Riding Lawnmower

electric riding lawn mower features

Fun Video of Old Toro Gas Reel Mower

Ok, so maybe only we find this fun (or we are just bonkers from the spring sales rush), but…here is a video we found of a very old, very polluting, but unique Toro gas reel mower. See it in action!

Reel Mower Sharpening: A Summary of Methods by Brand

Sharpening varies by Reel Mower Brand

Spring is here, and if you have a reel mower, it is time to figure out if your type has blades that need sharpening AND the frequency of sharpening. We are often asked this question, and this month in particular, so  we figure there must be a lot of confusion out there we can clear up.

When Do Your Reel Blades Need Sharpening?
You can tell when your reel mower needs to be sharpened when much of the grass passes by the reel and is left uncut, and the mower becomes harder to push. First, not all reels need annual sharpening! Read on…

Contact-free mowers like the Brill, Easuns, and Sunlawns do not require sharpening. Instead,they just need a year 5 minute task of  adjusting the gap distance between the reel and the bed knife. This is very easy  and performed as frequently as needed. We have instructions for that here, and if you lost your little metal gap adjuster you can buy one here.

Contact mowers like the Scotts, American, Great States and most others require sharpening on the average of every 1-2 years and spring is the best time to do this. You can purchase a do-it-yourself sharpening kit and sharpen your own reel mower or send it in to the shop.

Below we have listed the reel mowers we carry and their particular sharpening situation.

Item                               Suggested sharpening       Sharpening Kit

Brill Reel Mowers ..                           5-8 years             Will offer kit this summer

Easun Naturcut Reel Mowers ..       7-10 years           Will offer kit this summer

Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower ..  Long Lasting     No kit at this time

Great States Reel Mowers ..             Every year           Kit available on our site

Scotts Classic Reel Mower ..             Every year             Kit available on our site

Easun Silent Cut Mowers ..            Every 2 years                Kit available on our site

sharpening kit for scotts, great states, and american reel mowers

Pedal Powered Reel Mower Talk of Handmade Bike Show

Ok, so we aren’t selling these..but they are “people powered machines”!

This bike-powered reel mower is built by Ted Wojcik, seen at the North American Handmade Bike Show. He normally builds more conventional bikes at Ted Wojcik Custom Bicycles in New Hampshire.

reel mower - still people powered!

So like we said….we are up to date on all aspects of mowing!

Cheers…

David

Video: Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower Assembly

Hey all…

Fresh from youtube, a customer made video on putting together a Fiskars Momentum reel mower.

Quality Putting Green Mowers at 1/5th the Price

Two years ago we started carrying a line of push reel and electric greensmowers by Hudson Star. If you are considering a greensmower, spring is a great time since these mowers are particularly great at mowing over newly seeded grass.

The 2 Hundson Star Mowers we carry are the higher end battery powered Signature Greens Putting Green Reel Mower and the manual push version, the Hudson Classic Cut Greens Mower. These are really high quality machines, 11 blades, designed for longevity and ease of use. Others we looked at had hard to change mowing heights, were heavier, or felt cheap. Compared to other greens mowers that can cost $10,000 or more, this putting green reel mower is very affordable. Remember, standard home reel mowers do not cut low enough, and do not have enough blades to cut finely enough for a putting green.

Here are some notes from customers on how their Hudson Greens Mowers are working out for them::

“Because of the light weight we purchased a Signature Series Mower to mow in newly seeded greens. It did that and more. Great cuts!”

Larry P.
Country Club Superintendent – Connecticut

“The last mower I had was difficult to change cutting heights. The Classic Cut is quick and simple. I love it!”

John M.
Homeowner – Los Angeles CA

“Your mower provides fantastic cuts. I can now truly hone my golf game at home.”

Brian F.
Homeowner – Parma OH

“With my old mower I couldn’t mow any closer than 3/8″. I can now cut down to 1/8″ and it is so easy to adjust.”

Lowell R.
Homeowner – Towson MD

Worm Composters: Spring Tips, Troubleshooting, and FAQ’s

Now that it’s time to bring worm composters out from the basement and to the outside, we are getting quite a bit of email with questions, comments, and even pictures that we thought we’d share.

Q. What temperature can we bring  the worm bin outside?
A. Once temperatures reach above freezing reliably, you are good to go. Worms like temperatures are between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Red worms generally prefer temperatures in the 55 to 77 degree range.

Q. We are seeing little red round mites in our bin now that it’s outside. Do we need to start our bin over? Are they hurting the worms?
A. No and Maybe. So, don’t start over, at least yet. Mites can be a worm composter friend. But in big populations they can bother your worms and send them down below the surface. How can you tell if your worms are bothered? Are they hiding in clumps below….time to think about mite reducing strategies.

mites gathering on melon

mites gathering on melon

Q. OK, so what are mite reduction strategies?
A. First mites are not necessarily bad. Red (or reddish brown) mites find the conditions in a worm composting bin an ideal habitat. They are part of the composting cycle, helping to break down any tough fibrous materials. Increased mite populations happen when a bin is too wet, or the pH becomes too low. How did the pH become too low…probably you put a bit too much food in the bin, it got nice and fermented and then the pH dove down. Then the mites threw a reproduction party! So now that you know the reasons, here are a few solutions ::

  • You can raise the pH with lime, egg shells, or even wood ash.
  • open the lid and let the sun UV light kill off some mites.
  • trap them on melon skins or bread soaked in milk. Lay these on the surface of the bin, and when they are covered in mites, lift them out and dispose of them. Repeat the procedure till numbers are reduced.
  • scrape the top layers of worm castings off each day and the mites go with it. It took me about 4 days doing this on the 3 layers of my own can-o-worms worm composter and the mites were back to levels where I didn’t notice them anymore.
  • lastly, I offer it up but do not recommend it…some people use a propane torch on the top layer of the bin to kill the mites. My son offered to help me with this one! ;)

Q. Are you sure these red worms will not escape into my yard, killing all my native earthworms and take over?
A. Nope…some will escape. But they can’t live in a typical garden setting so they are not going to compete or even fight with your native earthworms. Know there is actually no way to get all those little worm egg sacks out of the worm castings you harvest. However, the red worms that we recommend don’t live in gardens well because they can’t burrow or take dry conditions. They can live in piles of stuff, compost piles, and bins where the moisture level is high and even.

Eisenia fetida, known under various common names, including redworms, brandling worms, “tiger worms” and red wiggler worms, is a species of earthworm adapted to the environment of decaying organic material. It thrives in rotting vegetation, compost, and manure, i.e. it is an epigeic worm. It is rarely found in soil, and instead, like Lumbricus rubellus, prefers conditions where other worms cannot survive.

Q. Yikes, my bin is smelling all of a sudden. What’s up? Is it because it is moved outside?
A. Nope. It’s because the pile is too wet or there is food decaying before the worms can get to it.

And that brings up something very important…worms don’t actually eat the food scraps…they eat the microorganisms and bacteria that are breaking down the food.

That said, if the problem is rotting food, you may be feeding too much or need more worms. If it is stinky food on top of the pile, I have found if you bury anything stinky, the odor goes right away. And in general, I leave onions out of my bin because I hate that smell.  If the problem is a wet pile, air it out, add some dry bedding, and mix it up. If you are using a home-made bin, consider drilling more air holes.

Q. Why are my worms laying together on the top of my can-o-worms side-by-side?
A. They are having a party of sorts. Shut the lid and come back later!

Q2. OK, I shut the lid. Now my worm numbers have quadrupled in size. How did this happen?
A. Time for a worm “birds and bees” talk::

Worms are hermaphrodites — each worm has both male and female reproductive parts. When a worm has the urge and finds a suitable partner, they lay side-by-side with their heads pointed in opposite directions, glue themselves together with mucus bands and deposit sperm in pores on their partner’s body. After each “mating event,” which can last up to an hour, both worms go to work making a number of little cocoons with their partner’s sperm and their own eggs. The eggs meet the sperm inside the cocoons, fertilization takes place, and a few worms emerge from the cocoon several weeks later.

You may ask: Why not just stay home on Saturday night and fertilize ones own eggs? That’s an option, but not a popular one due to the desire to diversify the genetic pool for worms. Generally, worms are self-fertile only when they can’t find a mate.

Q. I am harvesting my castings and trying to save all those lovely egg cocoons. Help my motivation, please tell me how many worms am I saving each time I do this?
A. Sure! You are saving the lives of approximately 5-20 worms for each little sack you find. I can pick roughly 10 cocoons a minute out of my castings so at the rate of between $20 and $50 per 500 worms, I think that worth the time and truthfully, I just love to keep every single worm in my bins!

Each cocoon can hatch up to 20 worms within about two to three weeks depending on temperature and moisture. Cocoons can also lie dormant in the soil for over two years until temperature and moisture conditions become tolerable for survival.

Q. Mold is growing on the top of my worm bin pile. Is this bad?
A. Mold actually helps break down the food so worms can digest it. However, molds and fungi also serve as an indicator, telling you if the feeding rate is adequate. Mold grows most prolifically in still, quiet environments, so large amounts of mold and fungi indicate there is more food than the system can quickly manage. So that means get more worms or reduce the feeding rate.

Q. Is it true that if you cut an earthworm in half, it will grow into two individuals?
A. No! No! Absolutely No!

Q. What are the foods I should never feed my worms?
A. Well, obviously meats, cheese, oily things. But in the vegetable family, the 3 no-no’s are citrus, onions, and rhubarb which send the worm bin ph acidic quickly.

Q. What are these blind weird crawling maggot-like things in my wormery?

picture-271

critters 1

critters 2

critters 2

A. They are both actually the same bug. They are the larvae from soldier fly. I hate them, as I often see them chase the earthworms out of my outside composter in mid-summer. However there is a whole world of soldier-fly composters and fans out there and they are very effective aggressive digesters. They are just not as lovely to me as earthworms. So I snip them in half when I see them and my worms eat them up! A bit persnickety…I know. Unless your worms are hiding from these critters tho, there is really no need to get rid of them as they hatch and fly off. This is truthfully, a personal vendetta and dislike so you should pay no attention to my advice here! :)

Q. I’m off to a Tropical Island for a week. Do I need to hire someone to watch my worms?
A. Nope. A well established wormery can be left for up to a month before the worm numbers start to fall. If you are going away give your worms a good feed just before leaving. IMPORTANT: Leave the tap open while you are away to ensure the wormery does not get waterlogged and your worm drown. I personally have forgotten to do this and after just one week I came back to a nasty smelling pool of dead worms in fermenting liquid at the bottom of my can-o-worms.

That’s it for today. Next up we are gathering the tips for the spring maintenance for your sun-mar continuous composter and getting it’s pile off to a great hot start.

RELATED POST :: Really Happy Worms! My Easy Winter Worm-Composting

Repair Winter Lawn Damage with the Grass Stitcher!

Wondering how you’ll repair those brown, dead spots on your lawn from all that snow? Try out the new grass stitcher, which allows you to  inexpensively repair bare spots quickly and easily!  The grass stitcher perforates the spot directly, leaving the dead grass in place and then allows you to spread seed over the perforations and water.  The grass stitcher can be used on hard and soft ground with its two modes of action.

Benefits of the Grass Stitcher:

-Critical planting depth is achieved with the angled shaft and head bracket with minimal leveraged energy.

-Lightweight: anyone can use it!

-Durable aluminum construction with heavy duty welds for years of value!

Grass Stitcher

NEW Electric Riding Mower is in and Shipping

The new 2010 Electric Riding Recharge Mower is in and shipping! For a limited time we are offering free shipping. Customers are very excited to have this eco alternative to gas riding mowers.

2010 New Improvements :
A few improvements have been made this season. One area that has been upgraded is the inclusion of a Grass Deflector. This allows that user to choose between using the included grass catcher or the new and
included grass deflector. Although not fully mulching – the grass deflector converts
the unit to a rear discharge unit. With the speed of the cutting blades at 3800 RPM the clippings are finely reduced. So now the user has the option to either bag the clippings for recycling/composting or to let the finely chopped blades fall to the ground as fertilizer.

2010 Recharge Mower

New Recharge Electric Riding Mower Improvements for 2010

The 2010 Recharge Mower is now in stock! There is a new improvement that we hope will give customers even more satisfaction!  Below are also the answers to some frequently asked questions.

The improvement:

-The inclusion of a grass deflector, which allows the user to choose between the included grass catcher or the new and included grass deflector.  The grass deflect converts the unit into a rear discharge unit.  With the speed of the cutting blades at 3800 RPM the clippings are usually finely reduced.

FAQ’s:

What are the dimensions of the Recharge Mower?

-The unit with bumper installed is 48″ with a width of 28″ and a height of 32″

What is the weight?

-The net weight is 240 lbs and shipping weight is 295 lbs.

*Note that the Recharge Mower is only 28″ wide, meaning it can fit between narrow gates and openings in your lawn and garden!

Riding Recharge Mower

Video: New Fiskars Reel Mower in Action

Fiskars Momentum Reel Mowers are in stock and shipping. We are very excited to offer this mower, the only reel mower which can cut grass at heights over 3 inches.

  • 2X More Cutting Power: Delivers twice the energy to power through small twigs, weeds, or dense grass that would jam other reel mowers.
  • 30% Easier to Push: Advanced technologies reduce cutting system friction, provide optimal blade positioning and deliver extra cutting power to reduce push force by 30% in long grass.
  • The mower adjusts to cut heights of 1″ to 4″
  • thanks to the StaySharp Cutting System there is no need for yearly sharpening.
  • The Momentum sells at  $249.99, and comes with a four-year warranty.

SEE THE FISKARS AT WORK, LEARN ABOUT THE FISKARS FEATURES

Stop the Noise! How Leaf Blowers, Gas Mowers and Snow Blowers are Effecting Our Health

The leaf blowers are killing me this year! My neighbors use them to blow even a sprinkling of leaves off their driveway, and NOTE: they only use them when I am home and recovering my sanity in my garden. Fueling my simmering irritation, during our first magical snow this season my wife and I took a moment for a walk thru the woods and what did we hear….not that soft gentle hushed sound of snow…but my neighbors snow blower. GRRRRR. I won’t go into when one neighbor left for the weekend and their car alarm went off in 15 minute continuous cycles until the battery wore down.

So this post is to say…neighbors…before you fire up your weed whacker,  leaf blower,  hedge trimmer,  riding lawn mower, snow blower, snow mobiles, etc…. know you are effecting not just my health but yours! Study after study has found that community noise is interrupting our sleep, interfering with our children’s learning, suppressing our immune systems and even increasing our chances of having a heart attack. It is also tarnishing the Golden Rule, reducing people’s inclination to help one another.

Basically, noise causes so many horrible things that it’s a wonder there aren’t warning labels tacked to the sides of vacuum cleaners.

NOISE HARMS OUR HEALTH:

  • Recent studies reveal that noise can be harmful to human health, just like water or air pollution, damaging not only hearing and sleep but raising our blood pressure to dangerous levels.
  • According to the World Health Organization, noise pollution is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year. scientists at Imperial College London monitored the blood pressure of 140 sleeping volunteers who lived near London’s Heathrow airport. They discovered that subjects’ blood pressure rose when a plane few overhead even when the subjects remained asleep.
  • A study of 5,000 45-to-70-year-olds living near airports for at least five years found that they were at greater risk of suffering from hypertension, aka high blood pressure, than their counterparts in quieter realms.
  • “The idea that people get used to noise is a myth,” the Environmental Protection Agency has reported. “Even when we think we have become accustomed to noise, biological changes still take place inside us.”
  • Children near the working airports had significantly higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol — the body’s so-called stress hormones.
  • oh and everyone knows about irreversible hearing loss…but that’s another post. or just look here.

GET THIS: NOISE MAKES US UNHAPPY… AND MEAN:

  • Studies have also shown that in the presence of continuous noise, people are less caring, communicative, and reflective.
  • Extreme noise has been found to give the listener a sense of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • Hospital noise has been shown to slow healing.
  • In one study, people were less likely to help someone pick up a bundle of dropped books when the noise of a lawn mower was present.
  • Another showed that in a noisy environment, people playing a game were more likely to see their fellow players as disagreeable or threatening.

NOISE IMPAIRS LEARNING AND CONCENTRATION (DUH):

  • Another insidious effect of noise is its cultivation of what scientists call “learned helplessness.” Children given puzzles in moderately noisy classrooms are not only more likely to fail to solve them but are also more likely to surrender early.
  • Many studies have shown children in schools around noise pollution had impairment in reading on standardized tests.
  • In Munich, students near an airport initially scored lower than others on tests of memory. When that airport closed and moved, thier reading improved, while their counterparts living near the new airport saw a decline in scores after the switch occurred.

SO WHAT TO DO:
First everyone needs to understand there is an issue. Even in ancient Rome, chariots were banned from the streets at night to prevent clattering wheels on stones from waking people up. Here are a few places that beat that drum:

Then of course, know there are alternatives…regular readers here know what’s coming…like quiet quiet quiet push reel mowers, back saving snow removal tools that really work, push sweepers (janitors secret weapons) and push leaf sweepers, and other fall cleanup tools like (!) rakes (!) coupled with lovely leaf bags that roll. Can’t do manual, how about electric options like electric mowers, electric blowers (still blow around allergens), and electric snow blowers (haven’t found one yet we like). So many wonderful options out there. And then of course there are the big picture alternatives like reducing your lawn size…but that is another ranting article! So in summary treasure the quite! Shhhh…..

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Peoplepoweredmachines is a family owned business, 11 years old, always selling environmentally sound products such as reel mowers, electric mowers, composters, rainbarrels, solar products and more.