May the Fork be with you?

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and the mind turns to two things, getting out in the garden to mow the lawn and Star Wars…well mine does. Reason being that Sky is mounting a massive 48 hour Star Wars on this BH. Why? It’s May the 4th of course, as in ‘May The Forth Be With You’,  a long standing fourth form joke that has even led to Star Wars fans holding special events every year on this date. As if Star War fans needed an excuse to dress up and pretend to be Gedi Knights.

But how does this tie in with gardening you ask? And I answer, very, very tenuously as my mind flies around trying to justify the Puntastic Title that Neil, one of our ambitious, if spotty, office juniors thrust in my hand as I left the building on Friday to grab a couple of pints of Cobbler’s Dark Fury at the Cask & Crumpet.

And the link is this? What will garden equipment be like in the future? Will our Lawn Tractors hundreds of years hence in a galaxy far, far away be like land speeders, a kind of ride-on super hover mower that nips around the garden faster than Luke Skywalker could bulls-eye a womp rat? Just think, no track marks, no need for turf-saving tyres but…and there’s the question, could you cut accurately if you are hovering? Hmmm. Not sure.  What it would be is fast. Luke could get around half an acre pretty quickly and still have time to to get home and practice using the force to put the supper things away.

And where does a Luke Skywalker, a  Tatooine farm boy who doesn’t know what the future is about to bring, keep his Land-Speeder Lawn Tractor Mower? Where else.? In his shed of course…

Star wars village
“Luke. Are you in there? The front hedge needs doing!”

However,  let’s face it Tatooine looks way more more sand than sward, so you’d probably have to go to the forest moon of Endor to find enough lush growth to test your land-speeder mower on. But you’d have to watch out for the intelligent wildlife hiding in the grass. The last thing you want to be doing is spending your afternoon cleaning chunks of Ewok out of your rotary blades.

Of course it was on the woody, green moon of Endor that we encountered those storm troopers on their 74-Z Speeder Bikes which, if you squint a bit look to me like oversized strimmers. I never found out what those white-armoured, red-shirts get paid for a week’s hard Stormtrooping but it can’t be much. They certainly don’t get trained to shoot straight. There isn’t one of them could hit a barn door with a shotgun – and they all seem a bit lacklustre. I suspect the Empire, being a dark and evil force spreading death and destruction, across the universe, probably doesn’t pay the minimum wage or offer health insurance and a subsidised canteen,  so maybe they supplement chasing Princess Leia around for a living by doing a spot of brushcutting on the side.

What else? Well you could do a fair bit of pruning with a light-sabre  but I have a feeling you’d have a big problem if you had to reach tall branches, I’ve never seen a long-reach light-sabre – though Darth Maul’s two headed version was impressive – there’s one for the backroom boys.

Of course some companies are producing sci-fi worthy solutions as we speak. I mean, have you seen this?

Greenworks new pruner think
Greenworks’ new pruner …er…I think

or this?

"Master Luke. I'm afraid I've accidentally run over the cat?"
“Master Luke. I’m afraid I’ve accidentally run over the cat”

Robotic mowers like this are here already… so who’s to say they won’t be able to talk eventually, be fluent in 700 languages and tell us the grass is too wet to cut today but would we like a cocktail?  And what of getting rid of pests? Would a hailfire droid be the ultimate way to keep next door’s cat out of your petunias? Problem is it would scare everyone else too. And what about those Droidekas? The rolling drones that then unfold and stand up to fight. Simple, a quick roll across the lawn, giving you decent stripes then they stand up and unload a barage of blaster fire at that pesky fox who’s been fouling your carrot patch… well maybe not. Hmm. Rolling Drones – the rock band of the future.

But I digress. How we garden in the future is definitely on the minds of many designers and researchers. If you take a look at how many companies are developing Lithium-ion for example… well, who’s to say we won’t have hovering lawn tractors or laser strimmers in the future. Even so, we’ll probably still be using some version of a good old spade and fork. Anyway, in the meantime, enjoy your Bank Holiday, enjoy the Star Wars fest and… most of all…enjoy your garden.    Darth Hardy



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