Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I made a broom! Short introduction - my son likes to copy everything I do and sweeping is one of the favorite things for many toddlers. Most commercial brooms are too big, and some are even dangerous (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07309.html - look here for children gardening toys recall due to lead content violations). In addition I am really sick to keep shopping every time I identify a need or desire! I found some "eco-friendly" brooms - those made with appealing materials by some appealing people, with high price tags and which need to be shipped (read - a large UPS truck in our driveway, driving who knows how many extra miles to get here). Or else I can drive to town and spend 3-4 hrs combing large box-stores in search of lead-free (ha!) child-friendly brooms.
So I decided to make a broom. I did not even read anything on the subject, I just looked at an old broom, then I looked out of my window and then I went to work. A lovely little plant called Snake's Broom (Gutierrezia spp.) makes great brooms and brushes (in addition to having many curative properties). HINT: any plant that has word Broom in its name is probably a good candidate for this project.
I harvested a large armful, found a straight stick for the handle, tied the brush following the pattern on my commercial house broom, trimmed the edge and got a lovely new broom. To my surprise, it is very comfortable, sweeps better than my store-bought broom and was ultimately carbon-free in every which way! My little guy lost interest in sweeping though, instantly, upon seeing the broom!