Scythe

Mowing with Scythes

Mowing with Scythes

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Scythes were used extensively in Europe and North America until the early 20th century, after which they went out of favor as farm mechanization took off. However, the scythe is gaining new interest among small farmers in the West who want to mow grass on an acre or two, and could be a useful tool for farmers in the Tropics who do not have the resources to buy expensive mowing equipment.

Short Stories Reflections of a Farm Teen The Scyther

Short Stories: Reflections of a Farm Teen / The Scyther

It is very early. The sun is just peeking its head over the horizon and the fluffy clouds are glowing a pale pink. The birds are stirring overhead, stretching their wings and cooing softly to their nestlings. A sleepy rabbit hops slowly across the path and disappears into the tall grass. In the middle of the field a solitary figure stands, drinking in the fresh morning air. He holds a scythe over his right shoulder, and in his left hand is a whetstone, resting in a yellow cone. He stands motionless, watching as the golden orb of the sun shoots up above the horizon, flooding the sleepy hills with light.

Sowing Seeds for a Scythe Revolution

Sowing Seeds for a Scythe Revolution

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For one month in the spring of 2016, I had the opportunity to join Alexander Vido in demonstrating the use of the scythe to harvest wheat in India, where the tool has been practically unknown. That country perhaps stands to gain more from the use of scythes than any other, because of the hundreds of millions of its farm workers who still harvest wheat and rice with sickles.

The Mowing of a Field

The Mowing of a Field

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When I got out into the long grass the sun was not yet risen, but there were already many colors in the eastern sky, and I made haste to sharpen my scythe, so that I might get to the cutting before the dew should dry. Some say that it is best to wait till all the dew has risen, so as to get the grass quite dry from the very first. But, though it is an advantage to get the grass quite dry, yet it is not worth while to wait till the dew has risen. For, in the first place, you lose many hours of work (and those the coolest), and next — which is more important — you lose that great ease and thickness in cutting which comes of the dew. So I at once began to sharpen my scythe.