Self-Sufficiency Community News


Composting


Our plan to provide 2 new “proper” composting bins to take food waste from the village school is progress well. We have finished all the brickwork (thanks to great help from Hatty Dismore and her 2 kids) and, with the wonderful paintings done by the school children, the installation is quite an artwork on its own account!


Brick double composter decorated by the school kids
Brick double composter decorated by the school kids

Over the summer I will finish the woodwork for the slatted front and strong lids so the whole thing is ready for use as soon as school returns in September.


With any luck a lot of parents will see how well the system works and we will have the chance to build more similar units for others in the village. We’ll do the work for nothing if householders provide the materials (cost of double unit will be about £450 but once built they last for years and NO MORE stinking food in the waste bin).


Scything


It has been a busy season for sale of my new scythes – almost all the scythes I made over the winter have gone to good homes now (at least 12).


Last weekend I gave 2 workshops at the Scottish Scything Festival (near Perth) and sold 3 more A frame scythes.


What was quite wonderful was to find at least 4 other original A frame scythes made by Carr's in the 1970s – exact copies of my own 52 year-old scythe. One of these was just a snaith which looked as if it had never been used – simply stored in a shed somewhere. The wooded brace had woodworm but the rest was good as new. Its owner asked me to fix a new brace and complete the tool with a new blade and proper metal stay. I finished the work yesterday – it's a beautiful tool!

A 1970's A frame scythe made by Carr's, and restored by me!
A 1970's A frame scythe made by Carr's, and restored by me!

I still have these strong A frame scythes for sale at £125 with a 60 cm all purpose blade.

Please contact me for more information via this form.


The scything festival was a great occasion, bringing together about 200 like minded folk with a shared enthusiasm for the scythe (and all it represents). After talking to many of these folk I began to realise more and more that scything does have almost a “spiritual” dimension. Certainly the scything enthusiasts share some common values, especially a distrust of mad consumerism and the human obsession with fossil fuel powered toys. Here is the piece I have written to explore the “political” aspects of scything further!