If we went back in time, say 120 years, and began cutting the lawn with a scythe we would be mocked as being ‘behind the times’!
We would be shown the latest in 19th century harvesting technology: the reaper binder, the stripper, the combine harvester – inventions which enabled farmers to work with larger yields and expand the borders of wheat-growing regions around the country.
But there is a lot to be said about a good scythe (they don’t have to be too reaperish!) —an implement which was developed over 2000 years according to author David Tresemer. “The Scythe Book” does not suggest that we take a retrograde step for the sake of romance but suggests
“In this age when most wonder how you can accomplish anything without the aid of electricity or gasoline, we must reassert that a hand tool finely made has greater versatility, has comparable efficiency even in large areas, and even makes for good exercise because the tool fits the dynamics of the body. Most importantly, a finely made tool does not interfere with personal communion with the ever-amazing natural world.”
For people with hobby farms, small acreages or even a weedy backyard, the scythe might be a healthier choice over fuel powered mowers. Hand crafted from sustainable materials, long lasting, non-polluting (non even noise pollution!), cheap to buy and cheap to run – it won’t break down!
“Maintenance of the machine means money spent; maintenance of the human body means health gained.”
For an Australian-made scythe check out seedsofchange.com, and Australian seller who imports quality scythes (hopefully they’ll produce some made from local materials soon!) – check them out www.scythesaustralia.com.au