June 8, 2022

The Simple Scythe

"To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows, Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers (Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake. 
The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows. My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make."

- From "Mowing" by Robert Frost

The original mowers were not machines. They were people. People wielding scythes.

With record high gas prices making things like mowing the lawn prohibitively expensive, people may soon be looking for low-tech, affordable ways of doing things.

Therefore, the scythe, an ancient instrument use to cut grass and grain, may be making a comeback.

Actually, it has never gone away. 

The scythe has been in continuous use around the world since its invention in Roman times.

Nor would you expect an efficient, effective, and sustainable device that has been around so long to ever be replaced. 

Like the simple mouse trap, you just can't improve on the scythe.

The First World energy intensive industrial/consumer lifestyle is on permanent backorder.

Soon it will be canceled outright due to a permanent lack of everything. 

Best to be prepared with the simple, effective, and sustainable tools we left behind in our rush toward modernity. 

Like scythes. 

They will give "mowing the lawn" a whole new meaning, and make the process a completely different experience.

And we will all be better for it.


  1. Never got to use a scythe but I loved using the old style push mower. There was a lovely rhythm to it and the scent of fresh cut grass was glorious. More than anything I am not fond of the noisiness of most modern machines and appliances. My children roll their eyes when I pull out the hand whisk to make whipped cream or the grater and mandolin to make coleslaw but I like the feel and smell of quietly "communing" with my food.

  2. Anonymous6/11/2022

    I too have an old style push mower that I use as the summer goes on...as the grass grows less (I do not water the small amount of lawn I do have). But for the first few mowing each year, with the long grass, I have an electric mower. It's surprisingly quiet, runs on a battery (charged by electricity of course, hydro power where I live). My neighbor's electric mower is even quieter. But our neighborhood has many homes with yard care services, and those folks use gas powered, noisy, smelly mowers etc. As for food prep, my boyfriend is the cook in the house, and he loves to cut the cabbage thinly by hand with his favorite kitchen knife. - Mary

    1. I envy you your patch of green. I live in a basement apartment with huge ground level windows with a fine view of an old parking lot. The upside is that I live in an older park-like area of the city that is a joy to walk about in. I am off to the garden nursery in a few minutes to pick out this year's impatiens - I think perhaps orange or salmon coloured this year - for the window boxes I like to plant and set outside my windows. Adds joy, improves the view and actually helps keep the dust down.


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