We use scythes extensively at Farmopolis. It is our favorite tool. We purchase blades from Europe (Austria) and make our own handles (called ‘snaths’) from hardwood stakes that we buy at the local farm supply. We paint the snath red to make the scythe is easy to spot in the tall grass.
Kari sharpens the blade with a natural sharpening stone, also from Europe. Here we are mowing on a wet day, perfect for scything, as wet grass is heavy and is easy to cut. Dry grass tends to bend in front of the blade. Traditionally, mowing is done in the early morning before the dew evaporates.
The scythe is the perfect tool to mow around the beds and tight spaces. The mowed grass will be raked and used as mulch on the garden beds. In the wetter areas of the farm, the grass grows so fast it can be very difficult to spot our newly planted saplings. The Swamp White Oak in the following picture is almost invisible.
Here is the five year old sapling with the grass mowed.
Elapsed time, about two minutes. Not only are the scythes fast, but they are also a great workout. Linsen and Chevalier look for the next Swamp White Oak sapling to rescue.