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News & Notes
Hewson Landscape, Inc.
NOVEMBER 2014

 

  
                            
            Brisk days are here, but have no fear, 
                Thanksgiving will soon be here!
Honestly thankful all year.
In This Issue
   
    
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
November brings leaves blowing,football games, and Thanksgiving. We are still working strong and trying to get everything accomplished before we are hit with snow. Now is a good time to check your anti freeze, and prep your vehicle before the harsh weather. We'll talk again in December. 
Happy Thanksgiving,
Shelly Hewson
President, Hewson Landscape Inc.   
                       
     Fruit Flies by the cornucopia 
Where do these little buggers come from?
The tiniest little flies that multiply in the blink of an eye!  
Fruit Flies, agh!  They manage to get right in your face or buzz loudly by your ear and you clap at them to try and kill them and they elude you. 

It's as if they appeared out of thin air, but they sniffed their way to your fruit bowl or hitched a ride from the grocery store bin.  Fruit flies grow from larvae to adult in 8 days.  They could have been in a tiny imperfection on a piece of fruit you recently bought since they are attracted to over ripened and rotting fruit.  These tiny pests can smell it from miles away.  So if something is picked a little too late, it could already have fly larvae somewhere on it.  

To avoid them, be sure to wash your fruit and veggies as soon as you bring them home.  In the summer, wash them outside if you can for added safeguard.  Also, storing your produce in a closed container, or refrigerating it is supposed to prevent fruit fly invasions.

But if you have been swarmed, you can make traps with apple cider vinegar using a bowl or a small water bottle and a baggie.  Pour an inch of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the container you want to use, snip a tiny corner off the baggie and place over top the container with the corner you snipped off on top.  Push the corner down to create a funnel, that way the flies can go in but not get out.  Place the trap where you notice the majority of the flies congregating and you should soon be trapping them!

snowy-treescape.jpg Old Man Winter to deliver the goods any time now-A View from the Inside

As the weather is getting colder, we are brutally reminded that a certain type of precipitation will be arriving in the very near future.  The "S" word ...  
S N O W.

After it snows, we expect the roads to be clear and parking lots and sidewalks shoveled, and are quick to complain when the job isn't done.   But have we any idea how much planning went into getting mother natures mess cleaned up?  New Jersey has a very high standard for snow clearing practices due to its dense population and high retail activity.  If it were any other state, we would be told to stay home or travel at your own risk.  And the roads would be cleared once the precipitation stopped.  

Before any snow event, skilled, trained snow management professionals begin planning during late summer and fall, to ensure there is a plan in place for the moment that first flake hits the ground.  A professional snow contractor is a risk manager.  We live in such a litigious state, that snow removal services is becoming a real problem from an insurance perspective. It's getting harder to get and becoming more expensive.

Okay, so first order of business is to visit the site during normal, dry, conditions and get a lay of the land. The contractor will decide on staging areas for equipment and storage of bulk materials.  The site will be surveyed for any hazards, such as pot holes, manhole covers, curbs and any existing damaged areas.  Locations of fire hydrants, speed humps, sidewalks, dumpsters, entrances and exits and so fourth are all mapped out and marked. All of this information is crucial to their plan of attack.  Most will also tour the site with all hands who will be on deck in the event of a snow storm to over view procedures to ensure a smooth running operation.

So by Fall,  a contractor has in order their sites/customers, what equipment and how much labor is to be used for each job and knows where their equipment and materials will be staged.  This year, contractor's began purchasing their salt/ice melt products a lot sooner than usual, in the event of another salt shortage like last year.  An unforeseen event that put a major wrench in even the finest of executed plans.  The bigger the salt buyer, puts you to the front of the line. So, if the State of NJ can't get salt, guess what-Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner will be last in line until product becomes available.

Once snow is on the radar scope, it now becomes a waiting game, monitoring weather maps and satellites,  preparing when and if the storm will hit. Equipment is usually tested in the coming days as well, just to be sure it's functioning properly. All equipment has been previously serviced and prepared for winter. Extra parts are kept on the truck for typical break downs that are experienced with a snow event, especially when it's 3 am and the parts store is not open.


Now it's snowing.  Communication begins immediately.  Show time! Command central calls in the employees to get to the shop and then on to their respective location. This needs to be carefully coordinated, so the crew can get to where they need to go, provided the main roads are opened up for them to travel safely. A lot of contractors do not touch a plow to the ground until there are 2 inches of accumulations.  It depends on the customer and what contract is in place.  

Time to push.  Piles of snow need to be moved and formed in areas that will not obstruct views and that will minimize melting and refreezing hazards.  It is not as simple as plowing through it with want and abandon.  The plow operator needs to constantly be aware of their surroundings, as do the shovelers and snow blower operators - even when they have been up for sometimes many hours at a time.  Unfortunately, snow does not occur during the hours of 9-5, so this can also present a challenge. But, the job needs to get done! Then we start all over again.

Next time you are out and about after a snow storm, take notice of all the work that has been accomplished, and know it took months of preparation and the dedication of hard working crews who bared the elements and sleeplessness to make it a safe environment for us.

  
 Facts about Vinegar 
With the cold weather here there is a lot more time to read!  A good book, magazines, tons of web pages dedicated to VINEGAR.  I was going to do a short piece for de-icing your windshield with ease, and in my research I found vinegar to be the main ingredient for a homemade de-icer.  They say to mix 3 parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle, spray all the glass on the outside of the car with the mixture and then squeegee or use a rag to wipe it off the night before.  This is supposed to if not totally eliminate the forming of the frost, make it so that it is not as thick, and easier to melt away once you start the car.  Another way to avoid a frosty windshield, is to park with the windshield facing east...  Hope your compasses are handy.  

So back to vinegar.  Vinegar was a happy accident, something discovered over 10,000 years ago in France.  Vinegar is an acidic liquid formed by a 2 step fermentation process of sugary substances.  The first vinegar discovered was an old cask of wine that had fermented into a different type of liquid that was found to be incredibly versatile, and in turn was one of the earliest remedies used.  

There are literally thousands of uses for vinegar.  Vinegar is used for food preparation, as a natural cleaning product, it is a great deodorizer and even a hair and skin product, oh and a de-icing agent!  

I know I have piqued your interest.  Go ahead, look up VINEGAR!  Have fun.

-Nicole 
 Snowy Owl visits New Jersey for Second Year 




Last winter, bird watchers got an eyeful when they noticed the Snowy Owl on a NJ beach in late November.  Typically, 0-3 are noticed annually, but in 2013, the numbers were a lot greater.  The Snowy Owl is not native to NJ.  Although they are nomadic, they are equipped for Arctic weather.  They usually winter in very cold regions like North Dakota, New York state and Canada.  But last year due to the weather we endured, the Snowy Owl was spotted in a couple states along the east coast. 

The Snowy Owl is a predator, and experts are saying they are visiting NJ to satiate their appetites and feast on Lemmings and Voles.  They also eat mice, rabbits, fish, water fowl and other birds.  The snowy owl's nutritional needs cause them to travel to survive.  The better their diets are, the better they are at reproduction.  

These owls like to be in the wide open spaces, and are not really hard to spot.  So if you need a reason to go to the beach in December, looking for owls could be a good one!  As with any wild animal, keep your distance and leave them to do their business and admire them from a far.  They are not friendly birds at all and could be cranky from the long trip.  
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QUOTE OF THE MONTH
 
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck
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Hewson Landscape Inc | shelly@hewson-landscape.com | http://www.hewson-landscape.com
601 North Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
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