There is a mower for everyone

This I was told that recently by a very knowledgeable and experienced agricultural engineer. Was it an analogy for finding your partner in life? Can it change and adapt to meet your changing needs? Anyway, the mower he was showing me was £3500 second hand and I wondered what the Woodcutters Wife would say?

The truth is that whilst we have four acres of grass here at TVF HQ, we have never really been able to afford  a decent mower to keep up with the Jones next door. We’ve tried everything from ride on mowers that are too old to haul me up the bank let alone cut grass that is a foot high. So you try to strim, which is a thankless task even with Nick Cave within your ear defenders.

John Seymour, writing extensively on smallholding, ridicules the presence of grass, saying the only good thing is for it to be eaten, excreted and composted. We compromise these days, siding with the godsend neighbour who kindly grazes some of their sheep on our paddocks, who tells us that if you have to top it you haven’t got enough stock on it. So we mow around the house and strimming a bit further afield along permaculture lines, which suggests working out in a spiral from your home. Call me a snob, but for the last 20 years we have been trying to tame farmland into parkland, progress is slow.

Twice a year we top this paddock, leaving the sheep to do their bit for the rest of the year. Behind the house there is a series of green lanes that connected the homesteads and hamlets of hundreds of years ago (we are 400 years old) and today I topped those lanes that fall within our boundaries on a tractor designed after the war, built in the sixties and is still fit for purpose fifty years later. It’s about as old as me and I wonder who will give out first. The previous owner gave out first as he took his own life (or died of a broken heart as we told the kids), and left the tractor in his will.  The four foot topper is a good size for this tractor, it came from Cheswardine and cost £200. This is the mower for me, but I did like the £3500 zero turn, stand on mower.