(A not so green) milestone in adolescents

July 30, 2009

We own 4.5 acres, so we have a substantial yard.  There is about an acre around our house and barn that we mow, and another 3 acres that a farmer mows for us.  Then there is about 1/2 acre that we are letting go wild.

Today my 13.75 year old son was shown how to use the lawn tractor.  I was outside 90% of the time he was on it in case he had trouble, but he did well.  And I got to spend time I would have spent on the tractor picking the crab grass out of the flower bed.  So now, not only does the yard look better, so does the flower bed.

Unfortunately, a lawn tractor is not green by any stretch of the imagination. But we all have our weaknesses (except maybe No Impact Man).  A green alternative would be a rotary mower.  I think we would need about 3 of them and 3 teenagers to push – at $7/hour – every week – yikes.

Another greener alternative would be to buy an electric tractor.  It looks as if they run around $5,000 – ouch.  Besides the price – another issue is maintenance.  My husband and I do not pretend to be mechanics, and although he has gotten quite good at replacing the drive belt on the tractor – we still have to call Sears to send a mechanic every year or so.  An issue with living in rural America is that you are limited in the retail options – so for us, the best situation would be for Sears to offer an electric tractor. 

OK – so maybe we are not going to be green in the mowing area.  Perhaps we make up for it in other ways though.  We do not use fertilizers or herbicides.  We do not water.  And while it is green, if the weeds were to die it would be barren.  We don’t even call it a lawn – it’s a yard.

So, we have a large yard and no eco-friendly way to keep it respectable.  But at least we now have one more person to help do the not so green mowing.




  1. I’ve started selling some of the old push rotary mowers as there seems to be a new demand on them. Are Tractor Lawn mowers out of fasion or whats going on.

    Eddie Crozier
    Vintage Tractor Parts and lawnmowers

    • Maybe greener ways are catching on.

  2. Yeah, when I think about replacing something with a newer “greener” model, I always wonder if the disposal of the old one cancels it out. Congrats on the training of the future farmer!

  3. Sounds like our backyard! The green is not from grass (for the most part), it’s from creeping charlie. We tried to get rid of it when we first moved in 17 years ago and realized it was hopeless. At least it’s green, right? And it’s very easy to take care of. 😉

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