Monday, 25 July 2016

Mowing the Grass at NAGA by Ken Medd

I retired in 2015 and quickly found that I wasn’t really ready to retire. I had too much time on my hands and I started taking contracts and odd jobs. Earlier this spring, I jumped at the chance to mow the grass at NAGA. Shortly after that, I landed a short-term job that kept me very busy for May and June. In fact, my garden plot was badly neglected during that period. That job is over, however, and I’m paying more attention to my plot again.

When I started cutting our grass, I wasn’t familiar with the brand of lawn tractor we use (a Columbia) but it seems powerful and well suited to the size of our garden. We’re into the second half of the 2016 gardening season now and I’ve cut our grass quite a few times. I’m getting comfortable with the garden’s layout and I’ve learned some useful things like where the tractor can’t turn around and where it just doesn’t fit. I think I’ve found a good height for the mower deck. It doesn’t leave the grass too long and the blades are high enough that they don’t dig into the ground or hit many rocks.

Sometimes, things are left beside the plots that can present challenges for mowing. I’ve come across rocks, piles of rocks, sticks, stakes, netting, fence wire, plastic bottles, pails, bags, papers, ropes, hoses and other things that we all use in our gardens. Earlier in July, I broke both of the mower’s blades in one evening when I hit rocks that had been thrown into the grass on the headlands. I’m learning where to expect those obstacles though and I’m sure I’ll get better at avoiding them.

I’ve met many of you already and I look forward to meeting the rest of you as opportunities arise. If you have suggestions or constructive criticisms about the mowing please flag me down and let me know. That’s all for now, except to say thanks for letting me mow the grass. I’m really enjoying it.