July 7, 2019
This class will delve into the world of hand tools that have been used for hundreds of years for making hay. We will go over proper sharpening of the Austrian style scythe including peening with a hammer and anvil, and honing with a wet stone. We will look at technique for scything and students will get a chance to try out the scythe. Once we have cut the grass, we will go over the process for drying and storing it to achieve the highest quality hay. We will also talk about the community aspect of scything and haymaking and look at examples from around the world. Please bring a scythe if you have one.
*One full-tuition scholarship is available for this class. If you are interested in a scholarship or work-study position, please see our scholarship & work-study page and email this class’s facilitator here .
Micah Wiles is an ecological farmer, hide tanner, sheep shearer and homesteader on his family’s farm (Cedar Creek Farm) in southern Kentucky. After studying Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Warren Wilson College, he returned home to integrate the two fields on his family’s land through agroforestry and rotational grazing practices. His life’s work is producing what he needs from the land in a sustainable manner and teaching others how to do the same. Through this passion for process he cultivates traditional skills, working by hand from start to finish; from weaving baskets, to naturally tanning hides, to shearing and spinning wool.