Women Who Weedeat

Gas powered weedeaters are heavy so a few years ago, when I ran across an electric “string trimmer” that looked like a weedeater, I bought it. They’re light and do a fairly good job cutting the tall grasses around my house. But this year, with all the rain we’ve had in Northern California, I didn’t want to burn out another entry-level weedeater so I bought a Black & Decker 14” string trimmer/edger. It has a 7.5-amp motor. The box says that it “provides high performance trimming of tough weeds, grass and overgrowth.” When my husband saw it, he said, “Wow, you’re going to go to town with this.”

I don’t usually give testimonials for a product but I’m so pleased with this new tool, I had to give a shout out. I’ve been running it all week for at least an hour a day and I’m still on the same spool of string. It has not faltered. Not even once. The other string trimmers, the dinky ones I used for several years, burnt out. Literally. I had to buy a new one every year. When they got hot and started smoking, they were done. This Black & Decker has the motor up at the top, just below the handle, so it doesn’t get clogged with grass. I think that’s what caused the others to burn out. Grass clogged the vents meant to cool the motor. That and they just didn’t have enough amps. Too bad I can’t just let the grasses grow. I hate cutting wildflowers, so I try to leave them as long as I can for the birds, butterflies, moths and bees. But I’ve seen first-hand the damage from a woodlands fire. So, in my neighborhood, we weedeat. Ladies too.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

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Last Summer, the Bees Took Over the Garden… I Let Them

It all started with the forget-me-not flowers that popped up in the middle of the garden. The bees loved it. Then I started noticing the weeds that bees liked and decided it best to leave them. And then any other weed that flowered that bees were drawn too, that stayed. By the end of the summer my garden was swarming with bees. I never once got stung. This summer, my plan is to be a little tougher and pull some of the bees’ favorite weeds. I’ve already started pulling. But because I have a soft spot for the bees (and understand their importance in pollination) I will be leaving the weeds that I remember attracted the most bees. I will also be careful to disturb the ground as little as possible because bees nest in the ground. I hope this summer I can reclaim a little of the territory that I let sprawl with flowering weeds but I can’t promise. I’ve grown to love the bees as much as the birds. There’s nothing like standing in the garden with the birds and the bees. Happy garden planning!

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available herehttp://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031