Of Scythes and Sheep
Yet another quite cold Spring - very wet with over 7 inches of rain last month alone and we continue to struggle to get even a couple of days in the upper 50s. As a result the grass in the pastures has been slow to come on, alas. I worry that we'll jump from that to an excessively hot summer - putting the grass into heat dormancy before we can get a good 3 months grazing out of it. We'll see.
The scythe is a good tool for the 2 acres or so of productive grass growing land we have. It can reach corners where even my small tractor can't get into, and rather than mulching the mown grass it lays it over into windrows and thus we can make hay rather simply and easily when desired. It requires little strength, is quiet, and needs no gasoline. I suspect you could manage easily 5 or more acres of pastureland/hayland with two good hands experienced with a scythe. With a little better management I could probably put up a fair amount of loose hay for the Fall period and only have to buy winter feed farther into November for the breeding stock, to last until about March 1.
This year I need to manage slaughter and sales so that I can do breeding a little earlier and push lambing into late Feb. This will reduce Fall feed purchasing and impact to the land and get the timing right for the new lambs in Spring for our usual grass production.