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Recommendation for scythe?

 
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Hello! I'm new to the forums. I thought this would be a good place to ask my question.
I'm in the market for a scythe. I just don't know where to start so I'll tell you what I need it for and maybe someone will have a recommendation.

I've started to use cereal grains as a cover crop this year- oats, wheat, barley. I'm am herbalist so the oats are of particular interest to me as the milky oats, mature oats, and straw are useful medicine. I need a way to (somewhat) easily cut and harvest the straw when it's ready. I'm thinking a scythe is the way to go.
I also need a way to cut down the enormous amount of ragweed and yellow dock I am battling.
AND I am 5 ft 2 - I dont think I could comfortably control something that is too long.

Opinions? Experience?
Thank you!
Angela
 
pollinator
Posts: 176
Location: Portland, OR
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Hi Angela, welcome to permies!

For harvesting grain, I’d use what some call a sickle, which is handheld tool and has a blade, sometimes curved like a half moon, sometimes straight. You’d hold the bundle of grain with one hand and cut it with the other.

For cutting the weeds I use a scythe. I can’t speak for the American ones, but I have a European one, light, and fit for my height.

I got mine from Scythe Supply about 10 years ago, been using it ever since. I am 5 feet tall, so I hear you about not wanting to deal with a handle that is very long. The Scythe Supply people fit the handle to your measurements. I haven’t talk to them recently, but I hear that they still have good customer service.

However, that are other suppliers out there, and I’m sure someone else will write more recommendations.
 
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I also bought a scythe from Scythe Supply last fall. They were very helpful answering any questions I had. I ended up going with a European style ditch blade. It is a medium weight blade that easily cuts saplings and does well cutting grass as well. I have been enjoying learning the techniques for peening and mowing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 200
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Baryonyx Knife or Scythe Supply can get you squared away. I'd also advise getting your hands on a copy of Ian Millers book, The Scything Handbook
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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I inherited a scythe and started scything about a year ago.  As soon as our cattle see me scything they all come running to the fence since they know I will throw them over great big swaths of grass. Our village has an antique day every year at the beginning of June. Attendance was low this year.  I suggested to have a handmowing competition next year.  Scything competition!  It would be lots of fun. Great exercise!  Love it!
 
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