Siciliano's Market News, October 22 Edition

This week's list of new and returning products follow a few words about the tedious chore of cleaning up fallen leaves

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

The boats are in storage and it's been too cold to hit the rivers so there hasn't been much to do around the cottage but cut fire wood and clean up the yard. My Husqvarna 135 Mark II X-Torq chainsaw and Stihl BR 700 backpack blower have been getting quite the workout lately. The chainsaw is relatively small (16" bar) and light weight (9.7 lbs.) but it's got enough guts to handle the big poplars behind the pole barn that got knocked down during a wind storm a few years ago.

The blower, on the other hand, is a real beast with its 3.8 bhp engine power, blowing force of 35 Newtons and maximum air velocity of 197 mph. It's on the heavy side (23.4 lbs.) which is also a downside because it puts an added strain on my aching back. But when it comes to leaf blowers I'm a firm believer in going big or going home.

I've had the Stihl for about four years now and while blowing leaves sure beats the hell out of raking leaves fall cleanup is still one of my least favorite chores. When I'm cleaning up at the cottage or in the backyard at home I can simply blow the leaves into the woods. The gazillion leaves that fall from the big maples in the front yard at home have to be loaded into the back of my truck and hauled away. I'm a fan of clean air but it would be so much easier to rake the leaves into low piles and burn them like we did back in the middle of the last century.

In the lower west side neighborhood where I grew up just about every house had a big tree in the narrow patch of lawn between the s