David Livingston wrote:Been thinking about this and how it would work .
The technique of holding a tool high and bringing it down I have only seen used on a chain gang in the USA for chopping weeds and I suspect for obvious reasons they were not provided with the sharpest tools . and I wonder how much follow through there would be and would that not get in the way . I also wondered if money is an issue here . Scythes are made to measure to the person using them and more complicated to build with the snaith etc . The sickle and the Z can be swapped with your neighbour no problem and are much easier to build .
As for how much work you would get in a day A good scythe person can keep two persons busy stacking the corn whist this tool with I see as intermediate between the sickle and the scythe from the picture hints at one person stacking a person doing both I would suggest will cover less ground in a day.
Also a scythe need to be very very sharp to be efficient and I have been told that getting good whetstones in the past was an issue and a cost I dont know the geology of the area you describe could this be an issue ? references to stones being smuggled here https://onescytherevolution.com/whetstones.html
David Livingston wrote:mmm interesting picture I assume you bring your arm in a vertical motion . Cutting a sheaf at a time or chopping a sheaf at a time . I wonder how often it was required to sharpen this tool ? I dont see any sharpening stones in the picture or paintings
David Livingston wrote:The angles of the zicht and the way it is held look "odd" to me as though you hold it with the stick vertically when you cut the corn more like a scythe movement than a sickle
Travis Johnson wrote:Very true and just like today, those in Europe in the early 1800's sought to get cheap fertilizer. They found it in New England, my Great Grandfather (some 7 generations ago) had a Potash factory here and did well regarding what is know as Potash Fever. That was where land was cleared here in Maine, the wood converted into potash, and then sent to Europe for great profit.
I looked into doing this on my farm as I have plenty of unwanted wood, but at a NPK of 0-1-3, it would have taken 1600 cords to get my fields fertilized...once. Yikes, I got better things to do then cut 1600 cords of wood!
They also said that when the Pilgrims first came here they were amazed at the fertility of the soil. They said whereas in England grass would grow to knee high, here it would grow to well over a mans head.
I am going to soon find out how true this is. I am clearing 2 areas of forest into field that have never been cleared. We can tell because there is a lot of iron in the soil, something that would have been churned up years ago if it had been tilled or pastured.
I'll keep you informed on how the growth goes.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:I could not find any images of a pikhaak that match any of the tools in the image you posted above, F.VR, but the images I found do seem to match the description you gave for it's use. Do you have any modern images or links that you could show of these dutch tools? The zicht, I am confident is a scythe. The hand sickle in the right hand of the man on the left, is an interesting design that I am not familiar with. It seems that there is a wooden plate extending from the handle which looks as though it was meant to gain stability from the forearm, which might help the arm to not tire while using the tool for extended periods... or is this the tool that you are calling a zicht? At any rate, I've never seen one like it, but would like to try it on a few things. If you have any modern images ( a photo from a museum? ) of this tool, I would be very interested in seeing them. It appears (though the image is truncated on the right) that the man on the right is using a standing, or walking scythe.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:I'm not sure that that is accurate. What permaculture books are you reading, F Van Roosbroek? The one that counts the most in my mind, The Permaculture Designers Manual, has plenty of information from historical cultures which had created successful long term food growing, housing, or landscape systems.
We should remember, as collective historians, that one of the best reasons for keeping history is that we don't repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. Just because something has been done in a particular way for centuries does not necessarily mean it was a good idea. When looking at the long term consequences, many times they aren't necessarily noticed with year to year changes or even over decades.