Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Husband, The Grim Reaper

Today, this came in the mail:
Yes, it is. It's a scythe. Most farmers would pay a pretty penny for a tractor or some other gas-guzzling machine. But not my man. I'm married to Adam, and he always chooses some interesting way to do things. (No offense intended to the tractor owners out there! I think they're fine machines.)
He ordered this  scythe from The Marugg Company, a 130-year old company started by a Swiss immigrant.

We ordered a brush scythe. We picked up the long package at the post office, and Adam ripped it open like a kid on Christmas.
Yes, he did read the instructions before assembling.
This is a belt holder for the whetstone. You put some water in it to keep the stone moist.
And here's the stone:

One of two handles:
A hammer ...
... and an anvil. These are used together to thin the blade on its edge. This is done before the sharpening with the stone and is called peening the blade.
You wedge the anvil into a big block of wood, rest the blade on the anvil, and beat on the blade edge with the hammer, slowly moving it along. It tapers the edge.
Adam is excited. While I was at work for the afternoon he went to the farm and did a little mowing. He says it works great, and then gave me a brief demonstration in the front yard. It does! He also cut his finger.
He likes the scythe because it will give him physical labor, which he wants. He also cannot mow wheat; he needs to cut it by hand, and this is a perfect tool. It's also much, much cheaper than buying a riding mower or tractor, and it doesn't use fuel. Plus, we'd like to "go natural" if we can.
This evening Adam will cover up his bees with mesh to keep them all in the hives.
At the end of summer we've got six healthy, active, full hives. Very nice! He'll move them to the farm tomorrow in a truck loaned to us by some very kind friends.
A couple of hives always seem to be bearding, like this red hive. They change and switch around in this regard through the summer. The Warre hive on the right end is to tall, and Adam will be taking a couple of boxes off the top of that one soon. It'll be so nice to have the bees on the farm! Yippee!
AND ... Adam got the Jaguar running today, so he will be able to move it there soon.
AND ... I have a mover to take my piano to the farm on Saturday, which is a huge relief to my mind. We have moved it before ourselves, but Adam's bad knee doesn't permit him to lift half of a piano anymore. I feel safer hiring someone to move it this time.


  1. Good! I'm so happy to hear about the piano mover!
    Yes, be careful. You don't want any physical setbacks when you have so much work to do.

  2. Sounds like things are falling right into place! Yes, we must have a video! :)

  3. Many decades ago I used a scythe like this to make haystacks on my uncle's farm in Ireland. They are surprisingly effective and can go where tractors can't...rocky fields, small fields and fields surrounded by stone walls.

  4. We used to have a scythe but it was nothing like that work of art! I supposed Adam knows enough to do some stretches before and after, and to work up to a full reaping routine, or he will too easily pull ligaments, etc, that aren't so stretchy as they used to be.

  5. well poo! I don't think my comment went thru...dang. Full of useful information too.
    here goes again...scythe is a useful tool even if one has a tractor. A tractor can't get to the places a walking man or woman can. I also use what I call a stirrup hoe for weeding and it's great! when moving his bees, Daddy stuffs an old towel in the door and it works well for him...easier too.
    Rockford General and Mast General stores in NC are good places to find useful things; the best is Lehman's in OH. For other stores catering to Amish and Mennonites visit They cater to folks who do things "the old way".
    You're almost exciting and congratulations!

  6. Nice looking scythe. The first picture made me think of a big bird's beak with the red sticker looking like an eye. I think we could use a scythe up at HT. : )


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