Oldschool vs. Newschool

One of the biggest arguments that my wife and I have are about how we’re going to maintain our landscape once we buy a house. We haven’t bought the house yet but we play the what if game to keep our sights set on our goal. As a hobby gardener and imagined landscaper I dream about the garden I have. Attempting to put in a water feature, or building the perfect shaded hammock stand is my kind of garden-porn. One of my personal dreams is to be able to not only have a garden that is to my liking but also sustainable. Rain barrels for conservation and solar panels to reduce our dependence on generated power. A combination of high and low tech tools that will make our piece of land a little greener.

The argument however stems from the fact that I’ve never wanted to purchase a gas/electrical powered lawn mower. When I was a kid, my parents owned a push-reel mower that I loved to pretend to use. I remember that thing being so heavy and orange and cool that I wanted to be able to use it. Unfortunately we moved and my folk’s ended up getting a gas-powered beast that would be my chore for the rest of my adolescence. But I never forgot that push-reel the way I imagined it would make me feel as I was cutting the lawn.

So back to the argument – she feels that the push-reel mower is an impractical and inefficient device that will be too heavy to push and not cut the grass well enough. I was thinking of conceding and just buying an electric mower but today I saw this.

That’s right folks with proper sharpening and usage, an old-fashioned scythe can actually work better and cut quicker then a professional grade weed whacker – and with significantly less harm to the environment. But there are also other benefits of using a push-reel mower vs. a powered mower. When you look at the gas/electric models they tend to chop and hack at the blades, doing the job but doing so in a very savage way. The push reel mower acts more like scissors which to be honest is a neater, cleaner and healthier way of cutting each blade of grass.

Aside from having a naturally healthy lawn, I am a huge fan of ridding ourselves of perceived simplification. The noise and exhaust of a gas-powered motor has always been a pet peeve of mine and the constant cost of buying gas and fixing any mechanical damages make them money suckers on top of everything else. Simplicity is key here and I’m going to stand firm to my side of the argument and go with my old school preference and my wife will have to just deal with it. But don’t tell her I said that or I’ll be stuck mowing the lawn for the rest of my life. Not that there is anything wrong with that!


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