It has been one long hot summer but we managed to have a pretty darn decent farm garden for our CSA (Community Supportive Ag) members. This last week, we delivered our final basket which had in it eggplant, onion, squashes, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, apples, pluots, plums, dried apples, dried peaches and a bit of basil. A few members received a watermelon, others received different varieties of summer squash as there wasn't enough of the summer squash for all the members.
I received some calls to back to back make anniversary bouquets and a dinner party bouquet. These arrangements are always fun to do because most of the people who call me just give me some color preferences and let me at it!!!
It makes me feel good that a customer trusts me enough to give me the colors, a price range and why the flowers are needed. And it is a good feeling that our flowers, grown right here in Butte County are local and picked usually minutes before they are placed in the vase or arrangement. Did you know that the #1 country to supply the US with flowers is-Netherlands. #2 US flowers are sent from Columbia. If those flowers could talk, I bet they would tell a story of possible pesticides; cold storage; forced growing and much worse. If you need flowers, check your local farmer's markets; there are several websites now that list specific farms that grow flowers; or even a neighbor who has a fabulous garden. Everyone can use a little extra money to buy more seeds or pay for the water, why not give it to them to cut you some beautiful, country, fresh flowers!
In my years of hard gardening and yard work, your tools are what make your job easier. Frank is so wonderful, he keeps all my hand tools, weed eaters, mowers, weed whackers, you name it ready to go for me, maintained, gassed, fixed. Several times a year, I need the "hedger" to prune my crepe myrtle bushes; my butterfly bushes; corn stalks; and to use on my privet hedge around the house. The hedger had a very long blade on it and is gas powered. It is so heavy, ill balanced and when I turn it side ways to cut the front of the hedge, it would blow fumes in my face. Honestly, I needed a nap after doing the hedging and my arms and neck hurt so bad.
One evening I saw an advertisement for a battery powered hedger. They may have been out there forever, but it occurred to me that possibly there was one powerful enough for really hard labor, not just a postage stamp subdivision back yard, but lighter and easier than the gas powered one. Frank did some research on the size and weight on-line and found one that he thought I would like. Now I am not paid to endorse any of these suggestions, I am only passing on my experience and suggestions for some really great gardening tools, because I bought them, used them and love them!!!
We bought this Black and Decker 22nd blade electric hedger for under $50 at Home Depot. The battery is rechargeable. Within a few hours of getting it out of the box, I have the side of my house huge butterfly bushes; sucker trees; volunteer blackberry; too tall camellias; AND my privet hedge done. The ground looks like a cyclone had come through with cut down branches and garden debris. It was easy to use, no fumes, no real fear of cutting off my leg or arm with the blade; well balanced. I even had my arms up in the air cutting down the out of control wisteria hanging over the porch and wasn't covered in gas, it was very light weight.
The third tool I have found to be very useful and "woman" friendly to use is the Homelite 7.2volt Electric Scrubber (don't know why they call it that, it says it is used for hedging and trimming). This tool has only a 6" blade and is so light you can use your other hand to use to control the plant you are cutting. It isn't as powerful as the B&D hedger by any means, but a great one for small jobs.
I just remembered what else I hated about the gas powered tools besides smelling, heavy and hard to handle. They are noisy!!! The electric ones just hummed along quietly. This little Homelite is also rechargeable but the battery doesn't come out, you just plug it into the unit to re-charge it.
Frank would always offer to do these jobs for me, but he is busy with even heavier work and repairs than this and besides, I like to do it myself. Frank usually will have me tell him which plants to cut, which ones not to cut and we would be yelling back and forth to each other over the loud gas engine hedger. Now I can have my own "woman" tools ready to go, plugged in, in my garden shed, handy for whatever cutting I need done in a hurry.
Oh, did I mention I have my own blower? Yes, one that is easy to start, it is gas, but quieter than most, not as heavy, short nozzle to it, well balanced. Did you ever notice how most tools are meant for people who are much taller or longer arms or something, my goodness!!! Who needs a blower that has a plastic nozzle 4 feet long??? I will pass on the make/model next time as I can't remember it now. I always call it my orange blower. Doesn't everyone have 3 blowers?Until next time-