Category Archives: Hand Farming

Spring in the Meadows – Molehill bashing!

No scyther enjoys meeting a molehill whilst mowing. It interrupts the flow of your scythe strokes, and worse still, blunts your blade! We have a very healthy population of moles on the farm, complete with accompanying molehills. Now, whilst the weather is dry but before the grass is really growing away, is the time of year to flatten them. The industrious moles will of course … Continue reading Spring in the Meadows – Molehill bashing! »

In Praise of Bracken

 Bracken tends to get a pretty bad press, and with good reason. However, bracken can make a positive contribution to a habitat, garden or farm system. On our holding we have come to value rather then fear our stands of bracken. Bracken as part of Britain’s Ecology Bracken is natural part of the British flora. It provides valuable habitat for small mammals, birds and reptiles … Continue reading In Praise of Bracken »

There’s a new scythe book coming…..

It’s called The Scything Handbook. Author Ian Miller is based on a small homestead in Iowa. The American publishers of the book, New Society say: “Written by a master of the scythe, professionally trained in Austria, and drawing deeply on research into original German texts, The Scything Handbook brings centuries-old scything techniques into the 21st century. Detailed illustrations cover scythe assembly, perfecting the stroke, blade … Continue reading There’s a new scythe book coming….. »

Autumn Harvest – Bracken

In autumn the scythe moves from harvesting grass to bracken, a task to which it is well suited. We harvest the bracken both to control it in the fields and to use it as a resource on the farm and garden. These two posts about the 2014 bracken harvest and the 2013 bracken harvest give more detail about how and why we harvest bracken. This … Continue reading Autumn Harvest – Bracken »

Mowing at Midday

We have a grass track running through the Trust. We maintain parts of it with a scythe, usually using the clippings to mulch the vegetable gardens. The edges to the tracks are left to grow longer and bramble tries to creep out from the hedges. Periodically the edges need managing too. Edges ready to be mown The balance of grazing land to hay fields on … Continue reading Mowing at Midday »