‘No part of the business of farming is more pleasant than hay-making.’ (Merry’s Museum, 1843)
I love haymaking with the scythe! Besides being the best full body workout, mowing with the scythe is eco-friendly, quiet – unlike lawn mowers and string trimmers, and with the scythe it’s possible to cut the grass on a steep hill in our garden.
Every May or June I make hay for our rabbits. When the weather is good, it takes two or three days until the hay is dry: from cutting the grass, turning the hay to gathering the dry hay. Usually, I wear everyday clothes but for these pictures I tried making hay while wearing my Edwardian working woman outfit.
‘The implements used in haymaking by manual labour […] are the scythe for cutting, the fork for tedding, and the rake for gathering’. (The Rural Cyclopedia, 1848)
Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe
How To Make Hay With The Scythe
Until recently, I didn’t know know how to use a scythe, how to hone a scythe or how to make hay by hand. I was told that it’s too difficult to learn and no one knows anymore how to use the scythe.
But thanks to the internet, I’ve learned how to mow with a scythe, make hay and care for the scythe through youtube videos.
And mowing with the scythe and making hay by hand isn’t difficult at all! 😀
Related: History Of Haymaking – How To Make Hay With A Scythe
Other Uses Of The Scythe
Besides haymaking, a scythe can be used for lawn mowing, cutting back weeds like stinging nettles, thistles and brambles, cutting paths into long grass, and harvest wheat – you can even cut shrubs if you use a bush scythe instead of a grass scythe.
A scythe is quieter and even faster than a string trimmer and lawn mower.
Full Body Workout
Mowing with the scythe is the best full body workout! 😉
‘No set exercise can be devised that will replace natural use, and no combination of exercises can equal in curative effect the use of a scythe’ (Massage. Its Principles And Practice, 1920).
Edwardian Working Woman Outfit
While I usually wear everyday clothes when making hay with the scythe, for these pictures I tried to make hay with the scythe while wearing my Edwardian working woman outfit.
Related: Edwardian Working Woman Outfit
I’m also wearing a chemise, petticoats, a blue cotton skirt and my black wool stays.
Making Hay In Edwardian Clothing
Sometimes the long skirt’s in the way and I feared the clothing would be too warm on a hot summer day. But it’s possible to make hay in Edwardian clothing. 😉
My Outfit Inspirations
My inspirations for the Edwardian working woman outfit were Victorian and Edwardian paintings of working women, especially paintings by Julien Dupré.
More About Victorian & Edwardian Haymaking & Working Women
Follow my pinterest board “Victorian And Edwardian Working Class Clothes” for more pictures of Victorian and Edwardian working women.
3 thoughts on “Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe”
Actually, considering the present state of my front lawn after the recent Dandelion growth-spurt, using a Scythe HAS crossed my mind!! — Weed-whackers are an amputation waiting to happen!
However, as lovely as your attire Looks, with our current 30C+ temps and BUGS, I’ll stick with my less cumbersome ensembles!
I imagine you really do get a good workout doing this. It looks great with your Edwardian outfit, but I imagine jeans and a t shirt might be more practical. That said, if it was good enough for the Edwardians…..!
I wore the Edwardian outfit just once for the pictures. 😉 I usually wear everyday clothes when mowing with the scythe.