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re beneficial weeds in a young food forest

 
pollinator
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Paul, I was wondering where I could go about buying a tool like he is using in the video, the small scythe. I think that would be very helpful to me esp in the chop and drop in my food forest and other gardens.

Also, another question for whoever..

How do you go about finding a source to sell herbal and medicinal roots and leaves, I have no idea how to go about selling those types of things. Have quite a few different ones growing in this area but wouldn't know how to sell them. Suggestions?
 
pollinator
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i started a thread about selling the diverse crops a forest garden produces and didnt get much.

ive found you have to teach people what they are and why they are good first, unless your in an area where herbs are known. you sort of have to start at the bottom. thats locally at least. if you want to ship there are hundreds of companies out there.
 
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Brenda Groth wrote:
Paul, I was wondering where I could go about buying a tool like he is using in the video, the small scythe. I think that would be very helpful to me esp in the chop and drop in my food forest and other gardens.


Brenda - I came across these by accident a week or so while looking for other gear.
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Style-Sickle/dp/B000AYIYAE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1317326541&sr=8-4
Amazon seems to classify them as sickles.  I've always known them as "kama' from martial arts training in weapons...

If you search on Amazon for the term, you can find serrated and non-serrated version.

I'm planning on getting one of a couple types to try on my wheat and rye growing on the hugel beds.
 
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
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Chinese medicinal shops could be a good place to start, if you have any locally.
 
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Location: NW MO
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K.B. wrote:
Brenda - I came across these by accident a week or so while looking for other gear.
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Style-Sickle/dp/B000AYIYAE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1317326541&sr=8-4
Amazon seems to classify them as sickles.  I've always known them as "kama' from martial arts training in weapons...

If you search on Amazon for the term, you can find serrated and non-serrated version.

I'm planning on getting one of a couple types to try on my wheat and rye growing on the hugel beds.



Those are small hand sickles - you need a long handled sickle to keep from bending over constantly. A scythe would be a lot quicker. I see the antique scythes all the time for not a ho lot - they usually are in need handle repair.
 
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Brenda ~ those little sickles are wonderful.
Geoff Lawton calls them "Rice Knives" - view his "Handtools" video on YT.
I walk around the garden with one in my back pocket always now.
I intend putting a longer handle on one as Ronie suggests.
Buy two - they are worth every penny.
There is one with a blade at a similar angle to a scythe
so I'll be trying it as I bought one already.
 
ronie dean
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Sorry for hijacking this thread, there is some thread around somewhere about scythes I think.  I grew up around these things, there wasn't a gas weed eater anywhere.  My mom and aunt used long handled sickles and the men used scythes. A scythe in the hands of someone who knows how to use it, makes short work of a job.

The Mennonites of Pennsylvania use the scythes to harvest their fields (they did 15 years ago - things like that change fast).

I think that a long handled sickle would be a great idea to make short work of a small field or even if you're smallish or older like me. The scythe can be dangerous as it is swung with a quick turning movement as you make a circular swipe - something like a pet can walk up on your left and get hit.
 
gardener
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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What they said  ... the rice knives seem to use cheaper metal and are inexpensive (<$10), whereas the kama use harder steel and run $15-25.  Its a brittle steel and so it doesn't peen like a scythe blade.  I like both, but favor the kama because it is always green around here, and I can cover more ground with a kama.

I agree with the scythe being faster.  When your vegetation design shifts from cutting swaths to selective cutting you might increase the labor per meter, but you also allow the canopy to close, so I think there is a role for both depending on where you and where you are trying to go in evolving a system.

I spent one season working on a farm managed by one of our big companies (Eclectic Institute).  They would grow their own, assemble wildcrafting crews, and buy in material to fill their inventory.  But you are selling at half the price you'd get if you were selling direct to a retailer.  I would start at the local retail end and work backwards.  Every town in Washington has a little herb shop.  Look for naturopathic doctors and ask them any local sourcing.  Otherwise you're shipping -- either way you are starting a business, because if you cannot consistently provide an interesting portfolio of high quality products you will likely not sustain a clientele.
 
Jack Shawburn
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Paul, love your Batman belt !
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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thanks for the info, have 2 already put in my cart at Amazon and will wait to order till Ron's check comes in..but I can't wait to get them, it sure looks like an easy way to do work that I've been doing with a pruner !
 
Paul Cereghino
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Here's the aforementioned Batman Belt as a solution to carrying a very sharp kama around.  Thanks 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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great Idea Paul I'll have to work up some kind of deal for carrying it so thanks for the idea.
I have a sewing machine so I guess I can whip up something ..have two on order, 6 and 8 "
 
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