Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Scythe of Relief

The old saying "You have to have the right tool for the job" has been drilled (hammered?) into my head over the years, and the more I get absorbed in my gardening and farming (and baking, too), the more I realize that good tools and appropriate technology are worth the investment.

So does the Renaissance Man -- perhaps even more than I do.

Over the past year or so, as I've delved into small-scale grain raising and he has addressed logistical issues of maintenance at The Farm, the ongoing discussion and question between us -- almost a good-humored rivalry -- has centered on scythes. I wanted one for harvesting grain, he wanted one for mowing grass in odd places.

Who, then, would be the first to take the leap and invest in such a useful, old-fashioned tool?

Dear Readers, though I thought I would be first to the winning post on this race, it turned out that the RM felt the greater need.

His scythe arrived -- in pieces, of course -- this past week, and he spent some time over the past few days sanding and oiling the snath and handles in preparation for the full assembly. This morning, he decided that our post-breakfast excitement would have to entail fitting the scythe blade to the snath.

It took very little time to set the blade into position and fasten the screws on the bracket holding it down, and just as little time to adjust the angle of the blade so that it fitted his hold properly.

Once it was fully assembled, he gave it a few test swings and showed me what he had learned in his extensive reading: that the ridge of the blade stays on the ground, angling the sharp edge of the blade up at the proper angle to cut grass or grains.

He has promised to let me try it at some point, presumably when I'm ready to harvest grains later this summer or fall, and I hope to see him mowing the grass with it sometime soon. (I'd love to see the neighbors' faces!)

And maybe someday I'll get my own...

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At 5/18/2010 1:30 PM, OpenID eatclosetohome said...

Ooh, I've been wondering about a scythe for a while, too. Let us know how it goes!

At 5/18/2010 4:24 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Will do!


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