GreenWorks Lawn Mower Review – Did You Know?

Greenworks lawn mower

GreenWorks Cordless Lawn Mower

GreenWorks Lawn Mower is an efficient tool for cutting deck that offers an excellent balance of manoeuvrability and cutting capacity.

With GreenWorks Lawn Mower, you can comfortably mow grass without any emissions or noise. What’s more, the cord won’t keep getting in your way unlike other corded mowers as you work since this mower is cordless.

GreenWorks Lawn Mower is suitable for homeowners and Do-it-yourself gardeners and covers small to medium areas.

 

My interest in this mower started when a client of mine emailed me asking me to recommend an environment-friendly lawn mower. I settled on GreenWorks Lawn Mower, and she was happy about it.

As usual, I enjoy sharing such moments with my audience.

 

Read on to find out more and buy on Amazon.com

 

Powerful Dual Blades

A lawn mower is nothing without cutting blades. GreenWorks Lawn Mower has dual blades that offer the best cutting capacity, superior mulching and bagging capabilities. The powerful dual blades spin fast thereby making clean cuts leaving behind a well-kept lawn and free from thatch.

More interestingly, GreenWorks Lawn Mower makes use of Innovative Smart Cut technology that adjusts for power or runtime based on the thickness of your grass. Without these blades, it would be practically impossible to get your lawn in shape.

 

G-MAX 40V Li-Ion Battery System

The GreenWorks Lawn Mower comes with a G-MAX 40V Li-Ion Battery System that includes 2 Batteries and a Charger. These cells are responsible for powering multiple tools for complete yard work system.

Also featured is an automatic battery switchover that pulls power from the second battery once the first is depleted to eliminate downtime. Relying on this automation that never disappoints every time, is sheer convenience.

 

Features and Specifications

  • 5-Position cutting height ranging from 7/8-inch to 2 ¾ inch – Allowing clean and even cut off any grass type.
  • 2-in-1 feature offers rear bagging and mulching capable.
  • High-Performance G-MAX 40V Lithium-Ion Battery delivers fade-free power with no memory loss after charging. (Provides a fantastic alternative to other gasoline powered lawn mowers).
  • 6-inch front wheels and 7-inch rear wheels.
  • Compatible Only with G-MAX 40V Battery Models 29462 and 29472.
  • Warranty Information: The whole set up comes with a four years warranty.

 

Get more details and buy now on Amazon.com

 

 

Customer Reviews and Scores for GreenWorks Lawn Mower

The GreenWorks Lawn Mower is an extremely powerful lawn mower and can do many other things a good lawn mower is capable. For Do-it-yourself gardener or homeowner albeit you will appreciate this mower.

Many customers have tested this mower and at the time of writing the review, I found a total of 1078 customer reviews who had awarded GreenWorks Lawn Mower 4.3 stars out of a possible five on average.

In overall the customer reviews are positive on Amazon, but a few had issues with the mower.

One customer said, “Owned this mower for two years and I love it, right up until it didn’t start this year…Unable to find the green works part # for the switch, I contacted green works for troubleshooting….mower would not start despite manually depressing the switch by hand…Now am mowing again.”

However, no one else had a similar problem, perhaps not a widespread issue with the technical support.

One other customer said, “…..This thing represents a whole new ball game in cordless mowing and a near miracle for the wheelchair bound. SO FAR, I highly recommend it.”

Most customers of this product are pleased with their purchase and would recommend it to others. I find it easy to support GreenWorks Lawn Mower as well.

 

Buy now at Amazon.com

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ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Review, Is it really the best?

ECO Cycle Aquaponics

ECO-Cycle Aquaponics

Eco-Cycle Aquaponics kit is a great ‘plug and play’ aquaponics system that will help you to grow fresh organic vegetables or ornamental plants either in your home, office or even in a school classroom. How good is that! With the system, you can grow delicious leafy greens while enjoying the beauty of an aquarium at your convenience.  My friend is a lecturer who had an old aquarium in his study. It was often getting faulty and boring, so he challenged me to find something better to replace the old aquarium. I did my research, and I found a no better alternative than ECO-Cycle Aquaponics kit that practically turns any aquarium (not included) into a productive garden. The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit is easy to set up and use. You feed the fish; the fish feed the plants, and the plants clean the water. It’s that easy

My friend and I were so happy that I have decided to share my research findings with you.

 

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com>>>>>

 

A powerful Micro-Jet Water Pump with Built-in 7W bright LED tank light.

Aquaponics is the science of raising crops and fish in a closed re-circulating system. An aquaponics kit requires a good strong pump to re-circulate the water within the system. It’s also imperative to have enough light since this is an indoor gadget. The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit with its powerful Micro-Jet Water Pump with a 7 watts bright LED tank light certainly does a marvellous job.

Product Feature(s)

The ECO-Cycle Home Aquaponics Kit w Dual T5 HO Grow Light

Specifications

Included in the ECO-Cycle Aquaponics

(1) Grow tray, (1) Grow tray pot-holder, (1) Grow tray pot-holder, (1) Grow tray filter cover, (1) Grow tray door, (1) Pre-filter sponge, (1) Bio-filter brick, (13) Net pots, (2) Liters of expanded clay pellets, (1) 1/2 inch fill fitting, (1) ¾ inch drain fitting, (1) Micro-JetTM water pump, (1) 12 inch pump hose, (1) Built-in 7 watt bright LED tank light, (1) LED 12v power supply, (1) Double 24 inch high-output T5 fluorescent grow light fixture and (1) Adjustable produce hanging assembly.

 

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com>>>>>

 

Customer Reviews and Scores

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit is the only “plug and play” Kit out there that works. Algae won’t terrorise it neither will your plants lack sufficient light. So, if you are really into aquaponics gardening, then you will appreciate this kit.

At the time of writing this review, I found 22 customer reviews who had awarded ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit 4.99 stars out of a possible 5. Customer sentiments on Amazon are unanimously positive. One of the customers says, “I have two ECO-Cycle Aquaponics kits that I use in my middle school science classroom, and the students love them. They are a lovely addition to our room décor, and the bonus is we have micro greens for our salads as well as fresh herbs for cooking within reach! Highly recommend!” Another one added, “Very nice system, as advertised…….got two goldfish…a very healthy herb garden is growing up top. Would consider purchasing larger set-up from the manufacturer, if offered.”

I find it very easy to recommend ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit confidently as well.

 

Buy now at Amazon.com>>>>>

 

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Is Hydroponics love really justified?

Hydroponics tower

What is hydroponics

Hydroponics is the cultivation of crops in a liquid nutrient solution with or without the use of artificial media. It is an alternative technique in which the soil is replaced by an aqueous solution containing the necessary minerals to grow crops.

The fact is, people are becoming health-conscious and choosing to eat more of the green stuff. You and I included.

 

Hydroponics tube

Hydroponics growing of spinach yields more

 

Moreover, considering increasing population and occupation of Agricultural lands by buildings, it is urgent to seek a new cultivation method that resolves the land issue without occupying it.

In my opinion, I believe that hydroponics is going to be a force to reckon with in modern farming. If you don’t believe me, read how hydroponics market is set to become a $28Billion industry by 2020 a report by BIS Research.

Recommended for you

Key point: Hydroponics is the growing of crops in a soilless media

 

First things first: The basics

A typical functional hydroponics comprises the following essential components;

  1. Growing substrates (Oasis cubes, Grow stones, Vermiculite, Peat moss, Perlite, Rockwool, Coconut fibre, Course Sand, Sawdust and Expanded clay pellets),
  2. Nutrient solution (Traditional solution, Home-made or Organic solution).
  3. System designs/Hydroponics system

There are hundreds if not a thousand types of a System designs/hydroponics system. The good news, you don’t have to know all of them since there are only six basic types of the hydroponics system. The rest are just modifications. These types are;

  • Ebb and Flow or Flood & Drain
  • Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T)
  • Drip systems recovery or non-recovery
  • Wick system
  • Aeroponics and
  • Water Culture

Let us discuss them in a little bit of detail

 

Hydroponics system

Basic type of hydroponics system

 

Ebb and Flow/Flood & Drain

As the name suggest, the Flood and Drain system works by flooding the grow tray with nutrient solution and then draining the solution back into the reservoir. A submerged pump that connected to a timer comes on and off several times a day to perform this action. One natural advantage of using this system is its versatility. With Ebb & Flow, it’s possible to use a wide variety of growing mediums.

 

Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T)

In this system, the nutrient solution constantly flows within the grow tray and back into the reservoir. Unlike Ebb & Flow, the timer is not required for the submersible pump. The drawback of N.F.T is that it’s very vulnerable to power outages and pump failures. However, it has a relatively lower costs incurred in changing the media after every crop (common in other systems) since it depends on the nutrient solution and air.

 

Drip Systems Recovery/Non-Recovery

This hydroponics system is probably the most common and widely used system worldwide. A timer controls a submersible pump that pumps the nutrient solution. The solution is then dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. In a recovery system, the excess nutrient solution is collected back into the reservoir for re-use while in a non-recovery the run-off is not collected. Each system whether recovery or non-recovery there are pros and cons. Learn more about Drip Systems Recovery and Non-Recovery

 

Wick System

Probably the simplest of all the hydroponics system. It is a passive system in which the nutrient solution is drawn into the growing medium from the reservoir with a wick. The Wick system has one disadvantage in that; some plants may use more nutrient solution than the wick can supply. The standard growing medium includes; vermiculite, perlite, and coconut et cetera.

 

Aeroponics

Of all the hydroponics systems, Aeroponics is probably the most high-tech. It is similar to N.F.T because the roots hang in the air. But different because this system has a timer connected to a nutrient pump submerged into the solution that frequently injects the nutrients as mists to the roots. An aquaponic system is a good example of Aeroponics. You can get more information about aquaponics <<here>>

 

Water Culture

Water Culture is the simplest of all active hydroponic system. The platform that holds the plants floats on top of the nutrient solution. Air stone supplies oxygen to the roots of the plants. Water Culture is the best system for growing leaf lettuce that are fast growing and water loving plants. However, it doesn’t work well with other plants.

So, that’s all there is to the hydroponic system. I would advise you to experiment different types and chose one that fits your needs and one that you are comfortable. But wait, read on to confirm your eligibility to use hydroponic.

 

Who should use hydroponics?

In my experience, hydroponics is just for everyone who needs to get higher crop yields on a non-arable land (contaminated poor soils, dry deserts, and cold climate regions, arid and semi-arid areas).

Furthermore, if you happen to fall under any of the following category, urban farmer, landscape gardener, vegetable grower, greenhouse farmer, a beginner who wants to do farming as a hobby or for commercial purposes, and general garden enthusiast, please read on.

If you happen to fall outside this category, then hydroponics might not be for you neither is this article.

 

Why should you start or continue using hydroponics?

  • Low prevalence of plant pests and diseases

The Soil is a habitat for quite many living organisms including pathogens (disease-causing organisms) that affect the plants through the roots. With hydroponic, the plant roots are contained in a system that is well controlled minimizing the risk of disease infections.

  • Direct control over the crops roots zone

One of the most important aspects of crop nutrition is the ability to control what happens around the rhizosphere. Since in hydroponic the roots grow in either an inert medium or nutrient solution, things such as the PH and EC can be adjusted accordingly.

  • Easier to clean the system

Over time, any system is bound to malfunction due to one reason or the other. A hydroponics system is not an exceptional. Sometimes there are salts build up in the system that might reduce the systems efficiency. For that case, the whole system (aggregate growing media/inert medium) can be sterilized using 10% bleach, mild acid and thorough rinsing.

  • Efficient utilization of water and nutrients

In hydroponics, water and nutrients are supplied directly to the roots of the plants and in some scenarios recycling is possible. This recycling is contrary to plants grown in the soil culture whereby water may be lost wetting the soil beyond the reach of the plant roots. More water is even lost over the ground’s surface through evaporation.

 

Hydroponics gardening

Greenhouse hydroponics gardening

 

  • Higher planting densities (Utilizing minimum land). With hydroponics, it’s possible to increase the planting densities hence using smaller space. Hydroponics also encourages vertical gardening with structures such as garden towers.
  • High-quality produce, e.g. fruits will have more flavour
  • Crops do not suffer from transplanting shock (Easy transplanting)
  • In the hydroponic system, no cultivation or weeding is required.

 

Lies about hydroponics that you’ve probably heard or will hear in future

 

  1. Hydroponics is a pollutant

Lie: Hydroponics is not good for the environment and causes all manner of pollution.

Truth: No fertilizer runoff finds its way into the lakes, rivers and aquifers. Secondly, hydroponics uses approximately 70 to 90% less water compared to conventional gardening.

  1. Plants grown in hydroponics system are artificial

Lie: There is a perception that plants grown in hydroponics are unnatural and therefore not fit for consumption.

Truth: Hydroponic supplies the plant with basic essential requirements when needed. There are no genetic mutations that take place within the equipment. In fact, there are possibilities to grow completely organic produce with hydroponics.

  1. Hydroponics is in beta stages of development

Lie: Hydroponics is an entirely new cultivation technology that is still being developed.

Truth: In the ancient Babylon, hanging gardens were believed to be hydroponic gardens. Hydroponics is therefore not new, just different.

  1. Hydroponic is ‘rocket science.’

Lie: The system is too sophisticated and hard for an average person to comprehend or practice.

Truth: Hydroponics is growing of crops in a soilless media. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe anyone can do this, of course, with the help of a few tricks.

 

  1. Hydroponics is an indoor thing

Lie: Hydroponic gardening is only applicable and successful indoors.

Truth: Growing indoors only ensures that we produce even when conditions outdoor do not allow. Indoor gardening is true whether you grow hydroponically or in the soil.

  1. Hydroponics is a substitute for pesticides

Lie: You don’t need to use pesticide when using hydroponic cultivation because there are no pest and diseases.

Truth: Vigorous growth promoted by hydroponic ensures that the plants are not susceptible to diseases. Isolation of the roots from the soil also eliminates soil-borne pests. But still, you need to put crop protection measures into place.

  1. Hydroponic produces super-food

Lie: Inferior plant varieties can be made better by growing in a hydroponics system.

Truth: Every seed like all other living things has a genetic make-up that will determine its general characteristics.

 

What You Can Grow – Tomatoes, Lettuce, Oregano, Celery, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Basil, Thyme, Mint, Watercress, and Strawberries.

 

Other recommended resources

Simply hydroponic

Fullbloom hydroponic

Greentrees

 

So, is the hype about hydroponics gardening justified? Yes and Yes. What are your thoughts? Let me know if the article has been of any help to you.

 

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How Marketing of Fresh Produce will make you Rich

Marketing of fresh produce

Introduction to marketing

Marketing of fresh produce forms an integral part of the produce value chain. Post-harvest losses in the developing countries amount to 30-40% of all crops. The number increases if narrowed down to horticultural produce. These losses are due to damages or wastage resulting from a poor marketing strategy.

In developing countries, most farmers lack the essential market intelligence that is the single most important factor in succeeding in Agribusiness. Production of fresh produce depends on a wave of peer producers.

If farmer X for instance, grows beetroots in a particular season and becomes very successful, all the neighboring farmers will follow suit without considering if the demand for beetroots is there or not at the time.


Subsequently, the glut in supply of beetroots fills the market thereby lowering the prices. The flipside is because farmers didn’t get good prices from their beetroots in the previous season, none will produce the following season creating a deficit in supply.

Another incidence is where a farmer waits until the crops attain the desired maturity before looking for a market. I believe that it’s every farmer’s objective to achieve zero losses or at least minimize postharvest chain losses and get the best price for their produce.

 

Marketing tomatoes

Tomatoes have proven to be very profitable

 

This article’s aim is to;

  • Explains the most important aspects of marketing
  • Tells you exactly what you need to do to get the return on your investment.

 

 

Marketing of Horticultural produces explained

To understand the marketing concept better, I’ll introduce the issue of production and distribution chain. It’s paramount always to remember that consumer is the first person in the distribution chain as well as the initiator of the process.

The biggest mistake made by many farmers is just to produce anything and impose it on the consumer. Keep in mind that the primary characteristic of most horticultural produce is perishability.

Therefore, to be successful, one needs to have the end in mind at the beginning and get everything right the first time. The diagram below shows a typical produce chain.

 

Marketing chain

Distribution chain

 

So what is marketing? In the words of a famous business author Peter Drucker “Marketing is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view….Business success is not determined by the producer but by the customer” For our case our business is farming, and the customer is the consumer of the fresh produce.

Master this concept and you’ve mastered all there is to marketing.

TIP: In marketing remember that customers/consumers buy benefits not products.

 

 

Importance of Marketing

The best way to understand the importance of marketing is to think of your farming business as a speeding vehicle, and marketing as the steering wheel. Without it, you’ll hit objects and even lose direction.

Marketing is therefore very essential to ensuring that the produce reaches the desired consumers as soon as possible. It is through marketing that one determines the distribution channel that will accommodate the perishability nature of horticultural produce.

To have a competitive advantage over your peers, you need to evaluate where your farming business is, where you want it to go and how you are going to get it there. Marketing in its most basic form is to help you achieve long-term profitable growth. In a nutshell, it’s your roadmap to a successful agribusiness.

TIP: Design a marketing strategy for your agribusiness and keep referring to it to stay on track.

 

 

Marketing trends of fresh produce

Over the recent past, the fresh world market as witnessed immense changes in consumers’ preferences, distribution channels and value addition. The modern consumer is willing to pay for extra value attached to the produce. Amongst the many trends, the following are significant and indicative of the many opportunities in the horticulture sector.

  • Margin pressure at all levels of the food supply chain
  • Many produce suppliers facing lower profits margins.
  • Growing concern for food safety, traceability and sustainability expectations all increasing cost of production.
  • The need for significant investments in information technology systems to match up with the ever changing market.
  • There is an increase in mergers are (retailers, foodservice, shippers).
  • Higher income and socially conscious foodies are driving demand; their preferences lean towards organic, convenience (fresh-cut), flavor, local.
  • For mainstream consumers, positive attitudes about wellness benefits of fresh produce not translating into higher purchases. Improving the flavor might help.
  • The perception that produce costs more and may perish quite fast. Better shelf-life might help.

 

Marketing of fresh produce

Packing fresh produce

 

TIP: Follow the market trends of fresh produce to enable you to make informed decisions that resonate with the consumers.

 

Challenges

Despite the many opportunities, the horticulture industry still faces a myriad of difficulties ranging from unscrupulous middlemen who offer farmers very low prices for their produce. These middlemen get gross profits from extorting the farmers who have limited access to market information.

In most developing countries, the infrastructure necessary for preserving fresh produce is always lacking. This support involves things as cold storage facilities, small warehouses, inadequate transport systems and the list continues.

As if that is not enough, there are silly cultural beliefs (African tradition) that fruits and vegetables are for the children, old and sickly people in the society. For these reasons, there are always changes in demand for fresh produce.

TIP: Challenges will either make or break you. You decide.

 

Recommendations

I am going to categorize the challenges listed above into two;

  • Those that you have control over (e.g. Middlemen)
  • Those that you either have indirect control or none at all (e.g. Infrastructure)

For this session, I will recommend a few issues focussing on the first category only. These recommendations are according to the importance of marketing strategy by Nimble Division.

Recommendation 1: Conduct a situational analysis by studying the competition, reviewing and selecting the enterprise to produce.

Recommendation 2: Develop brand positioning by defining the target market, the frame of reference, a reason to believe and point of difference. Could be how you do your packaging etc.

Recommendation 3: Consider the “The marketing mix.” These are product, price, place and promotion.

 

Marketing of fresh produce

Carving your own brand

 

This post has covered the most fundamental aspects of marketing fresh produce, follow these essential tips and recommendations to get the return on your investment. Similarly, if you know someone who could benefit from this article, kindly share with them and let’s make market information public knowledge.

 

Similar resources

Natural resources defense council

Fresh Produce Association of Kenya

Connect with buyers and farmers around you to sell your produce.

 

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Intensive farming: The great secret to world food security

Intensive farming

Intensive farming has recently become the new buzzword in town. You’ve probably heard about it more times than you can remember. But what is this intensive farming all about?

My short answer; intensive farming is the key to food security, long answer; read on.

Intensive farming is not a new concept in the history of agriculture. However, not so many farmers understand what it entails and what benefits can be derived from this farming system.

Factors of production are slowly dwindling into thin air, as world’s population increases. This means that the demand for food is increasing, but the resources are limited.

 

intensive farming

Intensive farming key to food security

 

Looking at the recent scenario, the following is an excerpt from a report by FAO and the OECD on the dimensions of food insecurity (2014).

 

  • FAO estimates that around 842 million people (12 percent of the global population, or one in, eight people) were unable to meet their dietary energy requirements in 2011-13. About one half of this total lives in G20 countries.
  • WHO estimates that close to 7 million children die before their fifth birthday every year, and a third of these deaths are associated with under nutrition.
  • One in three developing country children under the age of five (160 million children) are stunted due to chronic under nutrition, while another 99 million children are underweight.
  • Micro-nutrient deficiency or ‘hidden hunger’ affect around two billion people (over 30 percent of the world population) with serious public health consequences.
  • Food production will need to increase by 60 percent to feed a world population that is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050.

 

These statistics are painting a very gloomy future. If appropriate measures are not put into place, food security will just become a dream and poverty will continue to enslave our people. We need to either invest in farming or invest in farming to achieve the said 60% food increment required to feed 9 billion people. But how much soil do we have? Just how much land do we have?

 

intensive farming

Intensive land utilization

 

Geographically 75% of the earth’s surface comprise of water with 2/3 of the remaining surface of the earth being unfarmable (mountains and deserts).

At the time of writing, only 1/48 of the entire earth’s surface is left to potentially raise food for 6.5 billion people and many times more animals. Up to this point, you must be feeling bogged down and wondering if there is a way out.

Good news; we do have a way. Intensive farming which in a nut-shell is characterized by lowland ratio and higher use of inputs per unit land area. This undoubtedly increases the yields of food and fiber per acre as compared to traditional farming methods.

Intensive farming techniques

Intensive farming techniques might be different depending on the type of farming but one common denominator is the innovation. These listed techniques relate to crop cultivation

  • Deep soil preparation achieved by double digging to properly loosen the soil. This allows deep root penetration and improves the soil drainage.
  • Use of organic compost which is very vital in improving the soil structure. Besides other numerous, benefits of this technique, compost will provide nutrients as well as make nutrients already in the soil more available to plants.
  • Synergistic planting of crop combinations also known as companion planting and crop rotation
  • Reasonable close planting which ensures more plants are accommodated in a smaller area. This is actually made possible by double digging and use of compost.
  • Use of open pollinated seeds ensures that varieties are preserved for future generations. This technique saves cost and reduce reliance on outside growers.
  • A whole interrelated and integrated farming system

 

intensive farming

Interrelated farming system

 

‘Give back to the soil as much as you have taken – and a little bit more – and nature will provide for you abundantly’.    

Alan Chadwick

 

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