[permaculture] Scythes and similar devices

Darren J. Doherty darren at permaculture.biz
Tue Jul 1 19:03:13 EDT 2003

Hello People,

Does anyone in Australia know of where you can get scythe's (and
snath's) in  Australia - I have a beautiful hand-me-down one with a
gorgeous european/american timber handle that I use to use occasionally
- haven't for a few years now as it needs new handle's. Not having
handles make's it more than a chore to use. My sharpening stone is a bit
coarse too and I need a new one of them too. 

We used to use them on the farm all the time - my in some ways luddite
grandfather used to love this sort of gear. We used them to cut hay in a
keyline irrigated hay paddock - where it would dry for a day or two -
then rake the hay into windrows - dry some more - make into stooks -
then we'd take them down to make the haystack. When I was reading "One
Straw Revolution" and the rest of the Fukuoka trilogy in my late teens
its use had particular significance. Before then well it was just work. 

The scythe in many instances much quicker than a linetrimmer/brushcutter
- particularly when dealing with long grass - not much different in
effort than using the modern motorized version. Once you get the rhythm
they are very easy to use. I remember seeing on TV a doco in Austria
with an 80+ yo local bloke using one along his roadside with some ideal
mountainous backdrop - I can't remember how many acres he would do in a
day - but it was a lot - and he was doing it real easy.

So if anyone in oz knows of any suppliers of scythe gear I'd be very

PS if you want a sixpack then forget pilates - get yourself a scythe! 

Yours and Growing,

Darren Doherty
Applied Diploma of Permaculture Design, (Education, Site Design, System
Establishment & Implementation) Permaculture Institute (1995)
Permaculture Design Certificate, Permaculture Institute (1993, 1995,
Whole Farm Planning Certificate (Train the Trainer), University of
Melbourne (1995)
principal consultant permaculture.biz

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Scott Vlaun
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 11:56 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Scythes and similar devices

Hi Sharon,

For the last year, I've been using a European style scythe from Scythe 
Supply in Perry, Maine. It's an amazing tool. I have two actually. I 
keep a short blade (20") on one for general brush and grass clearing, 
and a longer (32") blade for mowing soft grass and clover in a small 
field. I've literally parked the power mower.

They buy the blades from Europe, but make custom make their own Snaths 
to your measurements from local ash. Their package comes with a nice 
stone with holder.  The scythe works best if you touch up the blade for 
a few seconds every 15 minutes or so to keep it razor sharp.

They also have other cutting implements and accessories.


Good Luck,

Scott Vlaun

On Monday, June 30, 2003, at 06:47  PM, Sharon Gordon wrote:

> I'd appreciate some suggestions for a good quality scythe or similar 
> cutting
> device.
> Sharon
> gordonse at one.net
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

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