The Scything Handbook
Ian Miller’s The Scything Handbook is more than an introduction to mowing with a scythe; it’s an appeal to reconnect with and ideally heal our environment.
In a warm conversational tone Miller reminds us that using the right tool is elegance. Not only does it get the job done with a minimal effort, mowing with the scythe supports the life around it.
The information is presented in nine chapters, and covers three main topics: the scythe, haying, and growing grain. The first and largest portion of the book is an introduction to the scythe. The topics proceed logically from scythe assembly and mowing basics, to blade repair, with an insightful chapter titled, “Getting the Best from your Body.”
In the second portion of The Scything Handbook, Miller introduces us to the joys and challenges of haying by hand. Information includes timing the mowing, hay rack design, nutrient loss, and storage.
The final topic is growing and harvesting small grains. The flavor of freshly harvested grain berries can’t be overstated. As heavenly as is a bite of warm buttered bread from the oven, bread made with freshly harvested grain is exponentially better. Miller is careful though to communicate just how labor intensive small scale grain raising is. Read it and decide for yourself.