Monday, 19 July 2010

One Woman Went to Mow

Went to mow a meadow...


One woman and her dog.... (Fergus)...


Went to mow a meadow!


This was my birthday present from last year.



I waited several months to get it... as I only got an I.O.U. on my actual birth day. It's something that I decided upon the moment I laid eyes on the couch grass at our allotment. No electricity there and I hate the sound of the petrol strimmers - not to mention the fumes and the general wearing of helmet and goggles... just not my idea of how to spend a summers morning.


I thought about it a great deal and I did quite a bit of research before plumping for an Austrian Scythe from here. The Austrian scythe is much lighter and easier to handle than a traditional English one, apparently.


I couldn't afford to go on a course in how to use it - that was not included in the I.O.U. Just as well... I would never have got there in time... it was quite an adventure to collect it... Sat Nav's don't seem to understand the Dorset lanes... and I arrived about three hours later than I said I would but the chap who runs the shop was still there and he was very helpful, he adjusted the snath (you see I know all the technical terms), that's the wooden handle bit, for my size and the length of my arms, showed me how to attach the blade and gave me a booklet on how to use it.

Well! It's not an easy thing to learn from a book but I have been diligent and practised quietly on the allotment very early in the morning until I can proudly say... I have almost got it!!



You see it's a magical tool. It sings as it cuts through the grass... the most amazing swishing noise, and you get into a rythym that is somehow quite spiritual... you move in a smooth twisting motion, swaying from side to side like a dance... a very old dance.... and the whole thing feels just 'right'.

And the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the grasshoppers leaping out of your way and there's not a single soul in the field but you and then the next stroke goes all wrong... it's out of kilter and the rythm is spoiled and you have to stop and compose yourself and start again. Eventually I hope to get really good at this... but for now... two hours to clear quite a big space with hopefully no one watching my clumsy attempts... will do me fine.



6 comments:

  1. Where are the other three Horse-persons of the Apocalypse...?

    Happy Harvesting ;)

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  2. You've done really well there, I couldn't do it with my dodgy arm. What are you going to do with all the hay?

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  3. ah... the hay. If it was pure hay I would do something with it... but its full of perennial weeds and all sorts of things that probably are not good for animals to eat... so I guess I will leave it to rot down. If it went into bags it would rot to the point where I could spread it back onto the land... but I dont have enough bags at the moment. :-)

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  4. That looks like very hard work - I bet it was satisfying and rewarding, though.

    Love you doggy! What a cute little face he has.

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  5. Me again!

    I've just read your recent posts - love the hay box. I saw something similar in an old WWII book ages ago, then read another blog where someone had made one and decided I really must give it a go.....and then forgot all about it! Reading your last couple of posts has made me put this firmly back on the 'to do' list!

    Also going to give the beetroot and chocolate cake a go - sounds interesting! Does it taste very beetroot-y or is it a sort of earthy-chocolatey kind of taste?

    How's your daughter and grand daughter getting on? Little one must be getting big :)

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  6. Fantastic. My farm plan involves no unnecessary machinery so I had also found the Austrian Scythe, after all if I am doing an acre of hay by hand it had better be manageable. Apparently the competent young austrians compete every year and can do an acre in half an hour!

    It's good to see someone using one of these though.

    I would be interested in a more full review as ones I have found in the past are all from people trying to sell them so a more impartial one would be good.

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