Thinning (apples & colleges)

A photo of apples I thinned from our trees, and news about our massive upcoming college tour.


I spent most of a day last week thinning apples from our two apple trees. These poor things had struggled in the shade of the boulevard trees for most of their lives, but as we’ve lost most of our boulevard trees in the last few years, these apple trees have come into the sun and finally started producing fruit. This year one of them in particular set a ton of fruit, so while I bagged apples, I also thinned, at least where I could easily reach.

In the end I bagged around 150 apples, and probably thinned off at least twice that in little baby apples. Now we wait for a wonderful crop of nummy apples in the fall!

In quasi-related news, this afternoon Thomas and I embark on a monster road trip through New England. The purpose of this adventure is college visits, and we’ll visit 11 colleges in 30 days: Kalamazoo (Michigan), Ithaca (NY), Hamilton (NY), Bates (Maine), Hampshire (Massachusetts), Marlboro (Vermont), Vassar (NY), Drew (New Jersey), Swarthmore (Pennsylvania), Yale (Connecticut), and Brown (Rhode Island). Whew!

This will be the last college tour, so hopefully he’ll have a pretty good idea of where he wants to apply after we get home.

The real reason for the trip, though, is to allow me to catch several states I’ve never visited (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine). After this trip I will have visited all but two of the 50 states: Hawaii and South Carolina. South Carolina is annoying because I’ve driving within 20-30 miles of South Carolina at least twice, but never actually made it. Hmph.

The trip might provide some photo opportunities, so I might actually post a little in July :-)

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Any suggestions for cool lawnmowers?

Looking for alternatives to stinky petrol powered mowers and (for us) ineffective reel mowers.

goat see
Creative Commons License photo credit: maessive

First, let’s set the stage:

  • I really don’t like the traditional suburban lawn. Tons of chemical, energy, and effort to create and maintain a biologically unstable mono culture so that I can … putt … or something. So, so silly.
  • I’m also a big non-fan of petrol powered lawnmowers. They’re noisy, smelly, polluting beasts that beat the crap out of the grass, ripping it instead of actually cutting it.

As a consequence we’ve explored a bunch of alternatives, but none have really worked terribly well. We really liked the idea of reel mowers, but our experience with several of them makes it clear that our lawn is way too uneven and bumpy for a reel mower. Sigh.

What would be perfect would be a solar powered Roomba-like robot mower. WeatherGirl correctly pointed out that this is frequently known as a “goat”; sadly, the city classifies goats as livestock rather than lawn tools, and we aren’t allowed keep livestock in town. Damn.

So, anyone have any ideas for an interesting alternative to buying a stinky petrol powered monster?

Thanks in advance!

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