The Full Story
After more than a decade of research on our own lawns to improve the principal foundations of Gaia, Uncle Onion's Electric, Organic Lawn Service was born. Not only are we using all electric equipment, but we've ramped up research across three Lab Lawns in Fredericksburg, including our own lawn at our home in Spotsylvania County, to bring you the best all-around, full service lawn care company possible.
Uncle Onion's Lawn Service, LLC has nowhere to go but up. Our business model involves responsible growth and environmental stewardship. As we scale up, we will operate out of electric vans. In the next five years, we plan to have electric vans servicing lawns all over Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. In ten years, we plan to become the leading electric, organic lawn care company on the East Coast. We feel it's our duty to make our supreme services available to every lawn.
At Uncle Onion's, we promise to: 1. Answer the phone. You will receive a reply to phone calls, text messages, and emails the same day. 2. Provide the fastest pricing the day you first contact us so you know exactly what the service will cost and you can get us scheduled immediately. 3. We will hold ourselves to the highest level of environmental integrity and business ethics. 4. Provide you with the best customer service beginning the first moment you contact us. 5. As we hire employees, we pledge to be the safest employer in the lawn care industry, pay above average for the industry, and offer benefits worthy of their hard work and dedication to the cause.
Is it Uncle Onion's Lawn Service, LLC or Uncle Onion's Electric, Organic Lawn Service? I'm confused by all the names!
A note from Aaron about this: I originally came up with Uncle Onion's Lawn Service, LLC in an attempt to prevent greenwashing. I quickly realized it didn't stand out in the hundreds of other Google results, so I registered Uncle Onion's Electric, Organic Lawn Service for the sole benefit of getting the point of our company across to people looking for lawn care services on Google. :)
Above: Aaron at the Fredericksburg Earth Day Festival with Gaia Landscaping, LLC in April, 2014. At the bottom right of the photo can be seen the solar generator Gaia used to charge batteries. The solar charger ultimately did not work out.
Uncle Onion's Lawn Service, LLC, was born out of a pet project from our founder, Aaron Johnson. For a few months in the summer of 2014, Aaron operated an intentionally small electric lawn service in Fredericksburg called Gaia Landscaping, LLC. Back then, we were promoting the net-zero benefit of our services, charging batteries with solar power and as we drove down the road in our fuel efficient, Volkswagen Golf. That company was successful beyond anyone’s dreams, but by the end of the summer, it had run its course and done its job: To prove people WANTED their lawns serviced by a company that followed its founder's commitment to environmental integrity.
Aaron Johnson, Owner Uncle Onion’s Lawn Service, LLC
Aaron has a long history of cutting grass. When he was 13, he rode his parents riding lawn mower up and down the rural roads where he grew up to mow lawns for $20. Through high school, he moved up to the big leagues growing hay crops. It was while reading the warning labels on the Sudan seed at 16 years old that Aaron realized there had to be a better way to grow food.
While in college studying fire science, Aaron started his first large scale lawn service. In one summer he built that company into the largest lawn mowing company in town. Upon graduation, yearning for adventure, he joined the US Coast Guard.
His first duty in the Coast Guard was in Juneau, Alaska, serving at a Search and Rescue station in the wildest place on the planet. Aaron excelled in the Coast Guard, and quickly gained every qualification on boats, law enforcement, and search and rescue possible for his entry-level rank. After four years and six months in the Coast Guard, he got out to chase his dream of fighting fires.
With a passion in his heart for putting out fires, Aaron developed his fire fighting and EMS career, becoming a collector of certifications. Over the years, he was most proud of the Advanced Swift Water Rescue Technician (SWRT) certification he earned. After swimming with whales in Alaska and feeling the rush of class V whitewater in SWRT training, it only made sense that Aaron turned to kayaking.
His love of whitewater kayaking and standup paddle boarding brought him to Richmond around 2008, then, a few years later, to Fredericksburg. In 2014 he fell in love with a biologist, and Fredericksburg native, named Kari, who he is now lucky enough to be married with. With their shared love of water and adventure, they’ve had many unforgettable experiences together with many, many more on the horizon.
In 2014, Aaron started Gaia Lawn Care here in Fredericksburg as a way to test the waters in the world of commercial electric lawn mowing. That test proved to be wildly successful, but with less than one year to test it out, Aaron was disappointed to not be able to push it any further.
In the winter of 2014, Aaron and Kari moved onto a boat in Deale, MD. After experiencing one of the coldest winters in Maryland history, they decided to settle down on dry land. The following Spring, they bought their first house together and got married. Nine years and one baby later, they are back in Fredericksburg and ready to put this electric, organic lawn service idea to the grinding stone.
Motivated by the early success of Gaia and his shared passion for the environment and public health with Kari, Aaron is sure Uncle Onion’s Electric, Organic Lawn Service is going to make big waves in the lawn care industry.
Aaron and his daughter, Olive, doing what they love: Playing in the dirt.
A message from the Owner and Founder:
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read these bios! My family and I cannot thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to serve your lawn care needs.
You put a lot of trust in a company to take care of your lawn, and you put a lot more trust in a company that wants to do things differently than the proven methods of all the other guys. Uncle Onion’s strives to change the way ALL lawn care professionals care for residential lawns. We want the better, safer methods we use, which have been proven since the first human being broke ground with a plow, to become the norm, not the exception.
Your lawn is a place of play, recreation, and relaxation. It’s for family gatherings and Sunday cookouts. Organic, natural lawn care processes give you the freedom to enjoy your yard anytime you want. There is no waiting period!
We are an organic family that takes the term to extremes. Y’all, we even buy organic cotton clothing and bedsheets when we can! It’s that important to us. My wife is closer to being a scientist than I am, so I try to think like my wife. We test all of our products before they go into your yard. The very first yard to receive a new product is my own, where my two-year old daughter plays. That’s something I take very seriously.
In our first year with this new company, I’m not offering any lawn treatments at all. I’m just not ready to put this stuff on your yard. We have three lawns in the Fredericksburg area, ours included, where we are currently testing products. I’ve affectionately been calling these my Lab Lawns. The Lab Lawns are divided into sections, with each section being treated with a different product. One section in each yard is being left untreated as a control area. My HOA is going to hate that part of my yard!
All the products are either organic (not manure, gross), natural, or are allowed in organic farming. The maintenance products that are going out this summer are edible! I’ve tried them! They’re gross, I don’t recommend you eating the stuff.
I’m certain we’ll find a treatment this summer that will be our winner. If we don’t, I’m fully prepared to go another year without offering lawn treatments. This is my commitment to you: When you hire me to apply a product to your yard, it’s already in my yard, I’ve thoroughly tested and approved it, and I’ve probably tasted it.
Say hi to your mom and them!
Aaron, Kari, and Olive
Uncle Onion’s Electric, Organic Lawn Care