Getting the meadow ready!

Finally spring is in the air – even in Austria. It feels we’ve waited a long time for it to come. With it the grass in the meadow I’m taking care of has started to grow but I could still see the marks of the mice; hills, passageways just under the surface and all the rubbish that was either blown into it or thrown or forgotten by children.

So Saturday was the day when I went to clean the meadow. It feels great to walk through it and see all the different grass and flowers starting to grow again. Meanwhile I picked up garbage, stones and sticks and used the rake to flatten mouse hills and pathways.
I do this to save my blades getting blunted because of mowing into them.

I also raked away some of the old grass. Some kind of grass, even though mown the latest possible in fall is making thick mats and if I didn’t rake it, it would be so much more work to mow it. All this is preparing for mowing with my scythe, which I can’t wait to do.

I like to get in touch with the meadow before I start mowing it. I can decide by the look of it where I’m going to start mowing this year – it will be the place where I can see that the grass is thicker already and I can tell the bits were it is going to be really easy to mow because of what is growing there – Ranunculus spp. – “Hahnenfuß” as we say in Austria. It is poison and farmers don’t like to have it in their fields but to me they have a nice yellow color and are easy to mow. If I mow them shortly after they have started to flower they will not spread too much.

Wild saladI also carried a paper bag with me to pick ingredients for our dinner; young leaves of yarrow (Schafgarbe), dandelion (Löwenzahn), sorrel (Sauerampfer), buckthorn (Spitzwegerich), daisies (Gänseblümchen) and pilewort (Scharbockskraut). Where I live it is not very common to go and get your salad from the meadow but I’m happy to see that since I’m taking care of it (3 years) more and more Turkish women are doing the same. And this is what it’s there for – to be eaten. Another good thing of more people walking through the meadow – the mice don’t like it too much 🙂

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About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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