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this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
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  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
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  • r ranson
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master gardeners:
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gardeners:
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Welcome Ian Miller - Author of The Scything Handbook

 
steward
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Welcome Ian Miller, author of The Scything Handbook


Photo source: New Society Publishing

Please join us in welcoming Ian Miller to the forums. Ian will be hanging out on the forum until Friday, answering your questions, and generally discussing all things Scythe!

Join the Scythe Revolution!



There will be 3 copies of The Scything Handbook up for grabs! Learn how you can win your copy below.


Read R Ransons review of the book here.

Ian will be stopping by on the forum over the next few days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum - i.e. the Scythe forum - could be selected to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's Daily-ish email.

The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours.

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to say hi to Ian and make him feel welcome!
 
pollinator
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Ian, welcome to permies! I am looking forward to reading your responses to our questions.
 
master steward & author
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Welcome Ian

We are very excited about your visit to our forums.
 
Posts: 9
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Welcome to Ian Miller.  Would be great to learn about scythes.
 
Posts: 249
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I would like to learn to use a scythe, I think that that is a very useful knowledge to have. I know it would be useful to me. I'm curious about blades. I cut alfalfa for the goats, and there are tree seedlings, poison ivy and grasses in that area. I also cut koshia, which gets a woody stem in late summer. Right now I'm using a sickle/pruning shears, whichever works best on that day with that material.
 
author
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Location: Ireland
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Welcome to the Forum Ian, good to have you on board. I've got a trusty orchard scythe for annual trims around the rough edges of the garden, and it has served me faithfully for many years (with one replacement handle in that time just to prove that it has got some use).


 
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I have an old scythe and have been really excited to use one on my homestead. However, I am a very short woman with some chronic back and shoulder issues and wonder if a scythe is practical for a range of body types.

This book looks like an excellent resource. My husband and I do not drive and do not have any equipment on our homestead with alpaca, sheep, ducks, chickens, bunny, and cat. We do purchase organic hay from a neighbor, but would prefer to do some of our own haying with a scythe and to grow grain as well.

Thank you!
 
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I've tried scything with a dull blade and, as you might expect, had a hard time. I'll be very interested to learn more about the process and how to maintain scythes. Then I'll promote it at them farm I work with to try to get rid of the tractor mower!
 
author
Posts: 19
Location: Decorah, Iowa, USA
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Nick: I'd like to think my book would be helpful for you. Additionally, taking a mowing course from an experienced mower who provides sharp blades can be a huge help and give you a more realistic idea of what is possible with the scythe.

Melissa: A scythe is indeed a practical for a range of body types. I can't speak to your specific back and shoulder issues, but for some, applying your body correctly to the right thing can help with certain chronic body issues. In my book I talk about how helpful the Alexander Technique has been for me in the use of my body and with mowing with the scythe. Perhaps something along these lines would be useful for you.

Feidhlim: Thanks! I'd also suggest the scythe for up-close mowing around trees in your orchard (and anywhere else). I describe a technique that protects tree and blade in my book.

Liz: In general, the more robust the material to be cut, the more robust the blade/peening style should be. Different blades/peening for different needs.

Heather: Boy have I got the book for you!
 
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Welcome Ian - The timing of your contribution of knowledge is spot on! Picked up a 'buried in the barn' scythe in reasonable condition as an estate was being sold by former owners' kids. Thanks for the insights and suggestions as this is inspiration to follow through and rehabilitate this old classic into another functional tool here on the farm. Thanks again! OreGreen Growers, Oregon
 
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Hi Ian!

Just got myself a scythe as a solstice/Christmas gift to myself. We've got a combination of brambly over growth, ivy, and grasses. Looking forward to reading your book. Congrats!!

 
Feidhlim Harty
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Thanks Ian
 
pollinator
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Welcome Ian, great to have someone with your knowledge here sharing. Though why only until friday might I ask?
 
pollinator
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Welcome Ian, this is great!
We don't have any machines in this village, so I've had to learn to do everything using hand tools.  I have never used a scythe, though, nor have I ever seen one around... I am looking forward to learning more.
 
Ian Miller
author
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Location: Decorah, Iowa, USA
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Maureen: Thanks! I hope you've been able to find some useful information here.

Devin: I'm not necessarily only here till Friday, it's just that I've committed to putting some time into posting every day this week to talk about scythes and scything.

"Rosa": I'm happy for you! I hope you find my book useful!

Peter: serendipity strikes again!
 
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Welcome Ian, truly a worthy skill
 
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Location: Normandy, France
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Seems like a great read!

FYI I saw there is a German version by Ian, maybe it can help some of us...

Matthieu
 
r ranson
master steward & author
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Wow, what a great week.  
It's been absolutely inspiring having Ian Miller visiting the site.  

It's impressive how many people have scythes or are interested in trying one out.  

Thank you, Ian Miller for taking the time to hang out on our forums.


 
Ian Miller
author
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Thanks Permies and R for your time, attention and efforts this week! Thanks to everyone else for your questions, comments and your interest!
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
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Well, now that the holiday season is over, and everything has settled into its usual place, it's time to announce the winners of Ian Miller's The Scything Handbook!


Congratulations to:

Joellen Anderson
Erica Daly
Roberto Pokachinni


We hope you enjoy your new book, and thanks so much for your contributions to the site!

You will all be receiving PM shortly, so check your inbox to learn how to receive your free copy of Ian's book.

Be sure to keep us posted on your scything progress!
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Congrats to the winners of the scything handbook. Though we were all winners getting to hear from Ian here, and having him answer our questions.
 
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177 hours of video: the Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
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