Haying with a Hand Scythe

Sandlewood's picture
haying with a hand scythe

Want to experience haying a five acre field by hand? Did you know it was possible in this modern era of powered machinery?

We purchased our first scythe from Scythe Supply in Perry, Maine, and upon arrival I was giddy with the thought of cutting swaths of grass for mulching the garden and feeding the livestock. Much to my disappointment the learning curve was steep and the scythe was punished by making it sit idle in the tool shed. Not to be defeated, I rose to the challenge and sat with the friendly and helpful Scythe Supply people at the common ground fair learning to peen and hone the blade. With encouragement from others and a razor sharp blade the grass began to melt with ease. I had been trying to force my way with brute force to make up for bad technique and a blade as sharp as a hoe. Haying more than a ten by ten foot patch of grass now seemed possible.

Two years later, with a total of three blades and four snaths we are ready to meet the challenge of the hay field. Armed with our limited experience, we now find trimming under the electric fence and associated posts, mowing the lawn and cutting new growth along the fields edge (including small brush) a joy!  Now if it will only stop raining for a few days so we may finish the job.