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My robot

I finally got the peas and lettuce and spinach planted a week and a half ago, far later than my usual third weekend in March. It’s been cool and wet here, not good gardening weather at all. But finally it seems to be turning into spring. The radishes and the lettuce are up. I may lose the peas: heavy rains washed most of the seeds up, and the ants have been eating them. I did rebury them once, but to no avail. I have enormous quantities of tiny lettuce and spinach seedlings though: the seeds were several years old, so I just dumped them all in. And the strawberries have buds!

Yesterday was lovely, sunny and dry for the first time in ages. I spent the afternoon outside: some light pruning, cleaning up the front flower beds, and giving my new mower a whirl. I’ve used a reel mower (the people-powered kind) for as long as I’ve had a yard of my own. Same mower, which was getting rather aged and no longer so functional. I upgraded to a Fiskars reel mower. They make great cutting tools; I figured their mower would be just as good.

I was right. If you read the reviews online, people who are used to reel mowers love the Fiskars, while people who aren’t don’t. Reel mowers are more work to use, but they’re quiet, don’t smell bad, and don’t release any greenhouse gases. The Fiskars mower is heavy and hard to turn, but cuts amazing well, even in tall and thick grass. It may take two passes, but my previous mower wouldn’t cut those areas of the lawn at all.

Today, though, is rainy and cool. I’ve done a bunch of dyeing, and am now cutting tablet weaving tablets for a big order. I thought you might be interested in seeing the technology. I use a computer-controlled cutting plotter: anything I can draw on the computer, it can cut. That’s how I can offer such a range of sizes and shapes, and even custom tablets.

It’s a persnickety beast, but really cool.

5 Comments on “My robot”

  1. #1 Random Michelle
    on May 1st, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Yesterday we bought an electric lawn mower to replace our Reel Mower–we couldn’t find anywhere to get the blades sharpened, and our front hill is just miserable for Michael to cut (he’d resorted to just using the weed eater on it), so we figured this was a decent compromise. It also has a mulching option, which is nice. I’m trying to reduce the amount of lawn he has to mow, but until we terrace the front hill–or I replace it entirely with evergreen ground cover–it’s misery to cut.

    Of course, if we terraced the front hill, it would be easier to grow things there… hmmm….

  2. #2 alwen
    on May 4th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I’ve used a pen plotter, and a vinyl lettering cutter that is a similar idea – these things are cool!

  3. #3 riverrim
    on May 5th, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Wow! These tablets are great!

  4. #4 Phiala
    on May 7th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    The strip of grass on the other side of the fence would be impossible to mow with an electric with a cord. I’m slowly working toward less grass, but will always have some, I think. The reel mower is also good exercise.

  5. #5 Phiala
    on May 7th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Alwen, it’s exactly the same thing, just this one is sturdier and can cut more things.