"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Winter jobs

Earlier this week the youngest cloud farmer and I cleaned up some long grass out front. I needed cut hay to put on the floor of the chook shed as well as for nesting boxes for both the chooks and pigeons.
 My tools of choice are the scythe and hay fork. Why? Because they are the easiest and best tools for the job. I can listen to the birds singing (or my son telling me all about the birds singing even though I can hear them already...) and it takes the same time, or less, than using a powered brush cutter. The hay is also neatly cut and left long rather than being turned into worthless pulp as a brush cutter will do. But mostly I just plain like using my scythe.
Here the littlest cloud farmer is standing in the "mow". That is to say the area cut by the scythe and this is the origin of the word. To his right is the windrow of cut hay deposited as I cut. He is supposed to be spreading the hay to dry but prefers to take more of a managerial role and tell me how to do it instead.
And this is some old guy, (well, ok... me actually) whetting the blade. A scythe is kept sharp enough to shave with. Every dozen or so strokes I will stop and whet the blade to keep the edge keen.


  1. With cfs I don't have the energy to use my scythe. Maybe I should whet my blade as regularly as you do.
    Mine is not as old as yours and actually has an aluminium handle. That's all I could buy about 40 years ago. It was good for keeping the tall grass down under the electric fence. A bit shocking at times though.
    I currently have access to a paddock of "dead" (frosted) Johnson Grass which I use for calf shed bedding, chook nests and mulch and compost making. My ride on mower does the work for me.

  2. So glad you are back into the blogging again!

  3. Actually Jim, I have to confess that my scythe is just a few years old. Bought it from http://www.scythesaustralia.com.au/ It is an Austrian make 75cm Schroenfux field blade and I am very happy with it indeed! The aged look comes from being oiled down after each use. Gotta admit I think it is really cool that it looks old though :)

    Pita, Thanks, I plan to stay!