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Bicycle lawn care business  RSS feed

 
Blayne Prowse
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Location: Cumberland BC
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My idea for years has been to offer a zero emmision lawn care service, using push mowers, shears, knives etc to do the cutting and trimming. Manual labor instead of fossil fuel driven machines. I love the quiet and simplicity of this idea. I hope to go all in with this concept by using a purpose utility trailer for my bike, and towing my tools around. I want to build a Permaculture business from the ground up, the ethics and principles my guide to success(plus hard work). My current job at a heating technician is far to resource dependant and it drives me mad! I figure with this concept I can start a part-time endeavour in my bike centered community, get into peoples minds and hope to spread the message and get more work doing design and consulting, what do you think?
 
Dave Burton
pollinator
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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I like your idea! Maybe we could also get people to pay for us to send chickens through their garden beds, or getting paid to have goats mow their lawn for them? Possibly letting people rent other livestock for similar purposes?
 
Blayne Prowse
Posts: 53
Location: Cumberland BC
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Animals would be my first choice, but I live in an urban village that doesn't allow backyard chickens, so a herd of goats is probably out of the question! That is being done in many places I believe, grazing goats on marginal land for free. Good business model.
 
John Wolfram
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Sounds like a great idea. You'll have minimal start up costs (push mower and trailer for bike) and at the very least you'll get a tremendous amount of exercise.
 
John Saltveit
gardener
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What a positive difference! You could get rid of the worst invention ever=the gas powered blower. WHen I was a kid they had an invention called a rake. It was amazing. It did the same thing without creating noise, air pollution, or fossil fuel dependency.

Use all different saws and loppers. I assume you would gradually move into tree work.
John S
PDX OR
 
Zach Muller
gardener
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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I like the idea a lot And I think it would work if enough of the local people didn't want to do their own yard work, but still wanted an Eco option.

To spread the word you could make signs to post in the yards after the work is complete.

You could also consider diversifying slightly from strict lawn care as John s suggests and include tree trimming, cleaning gutters, drainage design, or other stuff..

 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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If you were to use an electric bike and cordless electric lawnmower, hedge cutter, blower, chainsaw and string trimmer, you could probably do four times as many customers. Although a small amount of electricity would be used, the total positive impact would be greater.

About half of my income this time of year comes from tree pruning, hedge cutting, and blower work on roof gutters and commercial parking areas. It's been two months since I fired up any gas equipment. I'm shopping for a battery powered truck. I'm able to get a lot more done with power tools. On an average day I use 1.5 kw of power. That's about 12 cents worth.

One of my customers is a big building 320 ft long that contains several businesses. I do all maintenance of extensive plantings. It takes 10 hours every 2 months. A lot of gas used to be burned in maintaining the place. Now I go through 2 kwh of power every 2 months. About a dollar worth of electricity per year.

The former landscape guy was only allowed to come on weekends due to noise and fumes. I show up when it's convenient.

Every contract represents resources saved. I no longer smell like gas and my hearing is not being destroyed.
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Fruit tree pruning is almost all lopper work. The shaping of small topiary is mostly hand shear work. Some very small lawns can be mowed in less time than it took to arrive and unload the tools. If you limit your geographic zone and concentrate on smaller yards, you'll be more competitive. Big suburban properties will wear you out.
 
John Saltveit
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Dale:
Excellent example of how to make it happen in real life.
John S
PDX OR
 
Blayne Prowse
Posts: 53
Location: Cumberland BC
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I do hope to move into tree pruning, hedges, garden maintenance etc. I am hoping the novelty will appeal to a certain segment of this town. If I can get ten steady customers, I will be ok to start with. Dale thanks for the input. I did think about battery powered equipment and may go that route with a trimmer, but to start it will be hand tools only. Do you have any idea, in general, what the going rate is for lawn mowing?
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
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That depends on where you live. You can add your location under your name.

More wealthy areas have higher prices. You want to be in an area where properties are valuable and not too large. Probably near the downtown in an upscale, gentrified area.

In my experience, people want production. I would never pay anyone to use hand tools where a fast, power option is available. Imagine two carpenters on a big project. The one who refuses power tools would take forever sawing a sheet of plywood. I would fire him after a 5 minute trial.
 
John Saltveit
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There is a growing segment of the population that appreciates the fact that the work is done without creating pollution. They may not pay a lot more, but they may choose your service instead of another. Also it depends on the culture of the area in how people feel about that.
John S
PDX OR
 
Blayne Prowse
Posts: 53
Location: Cumberland BC
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That is my hope, that a few households would appreciate low noise, no emmisions, and something unique. As a tradesman, I couldn't do my job well without power tools. Although(I am a sheetmetal worker) there are many tasks in the trade that use no power. Shears, brakes, many seams can be done by hand. I think landscaping is one area of service work that can be alternatively done without gas or electricity. It will take longer, and that is ok. I am not looking to be the fastest lawn cutter, just the quietest, least smelly one. Plus if I want to go fast I just have to move my feet quicker!

I live in Cumberland, on Vancouver Island. I guess I should change my profile info
 
Bring out your dead! Or a tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
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