As promised, here are the photos of the FAO cradle from their ‘Small Farm Implements’ publication of 1953. In the introduction, the authors (our Mr Hopfen again along with Dr E. Biesalski) make an insightful point which, for me, is at the heart of why I promote the use of the scythe to smallholders, orchard owners, allotmenteers and anyone else with a small amount of vegetation to manage:
Such small implements have the great advantage of being suitable for use on any type of field, and of always being ready for work. Particularly on small fields, they can sometimes accomplish a task more quickly than larger machines which have to be put into working condition before the actual work begins and which need additional attention after the work has been accomplished.
Here then is the instruction manual for building your very own FAO grain cradle, I look forward to seeing them in the fields and at the various scythe events this summer.
ps. If you do build one, please get in touch – I’d love to see it.