What a busy end to the week we had last week! Thursday and Friday were a mad rush to finish off and bring in the hay that we had saved from the rain last week and that which had been cut on the Introductory Scythe Course on 4th July.
Then we were busy preparing for the next round of workshops. Six people joined us on Saturday 11th for a peening workshop.
In many mower’s journeys there is a “wow” moment of realising what it is like to scythe with a well peened and sharp blade. One of the attendees related how he had come on the course after buying a second blade from us. He opted for a pre-peened Ready to Mow blade. The contrast when mowing with this blade was so great that the decision was made – time to learn to peen better!
The peening workshop was followed by a Tai Chi workshop running Saturday evening until Sunday pm. After supper round the fire, the mowers began with a evening Chi Gung session, looking at exercises to warm up and stretch the body in preparation for mowing.
An early start was made on Sunday, with more Tai Chi followed by guided mowing sessions in the field. Using the awareness of the body created by the exercises the mowers were guided through various styles of mowing in the meadow. The aim is to create a mowing style that is efficient (doesn’t excessively tire you out), effective (cuts the grass with a high quality of cut) and is strong but gentle (doesn’t create strains or aches in the body).
This is from one of the participants:
“The Tai Chi was a real bonus, my body enjoyed it rather than complained, so yes I feel energised & de-pained too”
The Tai Chi mowers have left us with plenty of cut grass to deal with, so we are hay making in the rain again. The hay was spread on Sunday afternoon, then rowed up again in the evening to keep it safe through the showers we had on Monday. More are forecast today, so we will probably just flip the rows to prevent the hay on the bottom sitting for too long in one place. Given the current forecast, the end of the week will probably be busy with spreading for more drying then racking the whole lot.
Our experience shows that green hay like this will stand a remarkable amount of rain, before drying into perfectly adequate hay.