Sunday, April 25, 2010

Push It!

My yard is actually a deck with two cacti, so lawn mowers are not something I think about very often. However, sometimes the Zeitgeist just talks to you, and right now, the Zeitgeist is jumping up and down and saying, "Reel push mowers."

Zeitgeist, I asked. Why are you talking about lawn mowers? Aren't you supposed to be talking about Lady GaGa?

I first noticed resurgence of the reel push mower when my super-cool neighbor Michael was mowing his lawn. Michael and his wife Trish have an incredible sense of style and do all sorts of eco-friendly things like recycling, composting, and gardening. Then, my friend Darci commented on facebook that I should write about reel push mowers, and an avalanche of comments followed, all from folks who love their reel push mowers. It turns out that hip people with lawns wouldn't mow any other way.


Let me tell you. The reel push mower (that's the official name of a manual lawn mower) is a technology that works. The illustration above is from an 1886 catalog. Notice, not a lot of changes have taken place in over a hundred years. That's because the reel push mower does exactly what it's meant to do. It mows grass. And it does it well. A friend recently mowed knee-high grass with hers. Michael and Trish's lawn looks great. Isn't a great-looking lawn the American dream?

The reel push mower is, of course, eco-friendly (no fossil fuels, no yucky exhaust.) It's also economical - most are available in the $80-100 range. This is compared to most standard mowers, which run $250 on up.

Reel push mowers are also safer for kids and pets, as my friend Katie pointed out. There's much less danger that a toe will be severed from your body when you're using a manual mower. Reel push mowers also provide you will exercise!

But, most importantly, the cool people are using them:

Caitlin and Carys Irene are looking snazzy with their push mower in Portland.

Desmond, known simply as "D" to his posse, can't wait for the day
when he'll be allowed to mow the lawn.

Darci's the one who brought the reel push mower revolution to Facebook. Go Darci!

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