What a weekend! Under glorious blue skies I spent two fantastic days of mowing at Sprint Mill near Kendal.
On Saturday I ran the second of my ‘Mowing with an Austrian Scythe’ courses for a group of 6 students. This time, nearly everyone already had their own scythe and some experience of working with it but had come along to learn how to set it up properly, improve their technique or get a refresher course. There are a lot of subtleties to mowing and it’s a very worthwhile thing to follow up a beginners’ course to check your progress.
The importance of this became obvious both in the set-up and as we went into the field. We adjusted the handgrip positions for several people to make the mowing more comfortable and spent some time early in the day on reviewing sharpening. We were mowing again in the orchard and it was amazing to see how much the grass had grown from the course at the end of May and how much the compost heap had shrunk.
The new growth was lovely to learn with and by the afternoon session we were mowing the longr grass which gave students a chance to see the difference of cutting different vegetation. It is always very satisfying for me to see everyone improving and enjoying mowing through the day and we once again cut a huge amount of grass. As the weather was so good we spread the grass out to make hay.
It was tempting to carry on and complete the meadow but time was moving on and we still had the blade peening to cover. To avoid overloading folk I keep this to a short demonstration of peening with the jig and the common pitfalls. It’s enough at this stage and I want to give as much time as possible to practising the actual mowing technique.
A few more photos of the day here.
Sunday was a group mowing day for the ‘NW scythe group’, a growing collection of folk which came out of the Scythe Festival in Cumbria last year. More of that in the next post.
Read some feedback from students on this course here.