Editors note: This post was written by Klaus Kirchner. His blog is www.schnitter.info. Klaus is interested in a piece for his blog about the green scythe
fair and how it has created a ‘scything community.’ Can anyone help? I’m not sure I (Beth) can manage it with a new baby.
Austria is the place where the scythe on the header of the Scythe
Association of Britain & Ireland has been forged. Schröckenfux (punch
FOX) is one of the two still scythe hand forging blacksmith enterprises
in Austria (and probably in the world?) in 2015. When the last heap of
old blacksmiths closed down in the last fifteen years, some retired
smiths and an egnineer founded the Scythe Union of Austria in 2004. As
they come from craftsmenship, they have a rather technical approach and
indeed created a new scythe in 2006 which they call “Vereinssense” or
“Union Scythe”. And they offer workshops to become a scythe instructor
with a real diploma! During these examinations I met a guy, born in
Tirol, who also passed for good enough, and when we drove home to Vienna
(where we live) we decided to bring the scythe into the city.
Our blog is called “www.schnitter.info“, Schnitter after the cradlers,
migratory workers who owned nothing but a scythe and walked Austria
during harvest times. We think the scythe is just perfect for the city
with it’s small spaces where people want to have a bit of green,
flowers, a tiny wildernes. Our workshops, where anyone can learn to mow
with a scythe, happen in parks of Vienna.
One is just behind the emperors palace in Schönbrunn, the other
locations are the Botanical Gardens near the Belvedere and in the hills
near the cities vineyards at Cobenzl.
The Botanical Gardens invited us to mow their lawn, because they found
out that biodiversity of insects (like butterflies) was not as it should
have been in a botanical garden. This was due to killing everyone and
every egg on the grass with the machines.
Now we mow there every two months.
We also take the elevators to get on the roofs of Vienna, to cut grass
there. Here’s some fotos:
As we are getting calls recently from people to cut their roof terraces,
we are about to get a group of scythe folks free from giddiness for some
morning mowing before they go to work.
We are also linked with a group of people who cut trees to make
themselves a chair
or their own boats
but that takes is to the network around us, which is another story.