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The Scythe Book

Mowing Hay, Cutting Weeds, and Harvesting Small Grains with Hand Tools
For the gardener, farmer, or homeowner, a good scythe is an efficient and enjoyable tool for cutting grasses and weeds and harvesting small grains. Author David Tresemer presents the results of years of research and practical experience so that the reader may learn to use and enjoy the scythe. In an age when most wonder how they can accomplish anything without the aid of electricity or gasoline, The Scythe Book shows how a traditional hand tool can often outperform more modern technology. This new edition includes an addendum on the practical use of the scythe by Peter Vido. Beginning with his recollections from boyhood in Slovakia, Vido shares what he has learned from European mowers and scythe-makers during trips to countries where scythes are still routinely used. He also provides detailed guidance on fitting the scythe (blade and snath) to the individual, care and repair of the blade, principles of movement, and much fascinating lore.
David Tresemer, Ph.D., has a doctorate in psychology and is a faculty coordinator and presenter for the certificate program in Counseling Psychology, with concentration in Anthroposophic Psychology. He has written in many areas, ranging from The Scythe Book to books about mythic theatre, astrology-seen-intelligently, and counseling. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. Peter Vido discovered the scythe in the late 1980s and became a "scythe missionary," sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of the tool with others around the world. Vido died in 2018.
...armed with book and scythe, I approached my grass. I can report that I laid waste to a quarter-acre of weeds, including occasional poplar and sumac shoots up to a half-inch in diameter. I felt good after performing this chore. Last year I did the same job in twice the time with a 'weed eater' made by a chain saw manufacturer. It vibrated. I vibrated. Though I wore antinoise earmuffs, I got a headache. David Tresemer has converted me to scything.--Tom Manwell, Horticulture Magazine The whole book is intriguing, especially the descriptive chapters on the enjoyment of scything. I started scything in my teens, and have cut grass and hay with the same swing for more than eighty years. It is a first-class, fresh-air exercise that stirs the blood and flexes the muscles while it clears the meadows.--Scott Nearing
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