|"Contest" between scythe and sickle (from the video)|
Here's a new video by Alexander Vido about his Scythe Project in India:
a branch of The Scythe Network
Now a month has passed since the extensive demos, and exhausting as the whole 'scythe tour' was, in hindsight it was necessary. The scythe received much deserved attention and respect as "the tool of the future" -- and we have been contacted by enthusiastic people from all over the country. Many, by the way, express dismay at the fact that it took so long for it to reach India...
Clearly, the hopes and excitement have been generated and now it is our responsibility to come up with a package which meets people's expectations and is easy on their pockets. For this to happen, much of the material has to be made with local materials and by local craftsmen. You will be happy to know that we have almost finalised prototypes of quite a few things like the snaths, jigs, anvils and small items like the rings. These will be made locally and it is just a matter of time before things start rolling. This, we anticipate, will also take off as much as 25-30% of the costs. I must again thank Alexander for all the tips and guidance regarding the same.
I hope that we will keep building on the somewhat auspicious beginning to this venture and that the needy and marginal farmers of India reap the benefits of a tool which should have reached them decades ago.
-- Anant Chaturvedi
|Screenshot from recent video with 1.3 million views.|
|Rolando (left) and Michael honing their blades. Rolando's snath seen in this shot was made of dry balsa, supposedly 'good for nothing' wood, and along with a narrow old 65 cm blade the unit was truly 'featherweight'. After being used from day one, it was still in one piece when I left...|
|Here each of the workers exhibits a different posture. The nearest one is probably leaning over momentarily to pick up some trampled stems, the middle one is in the average 'comfort zone', and Rolando (furthest away) seems to be angling his tool so as to trim a side of a steep ditch. Note the heaps of grass behind them, piled up in short spells between, and nearly simultaneously, with the actual cutting. Previously, the machete or strimmer-scattrered vegetation required more work to gather for removal to composting sites, with much of it remaining behind.|
|One of many examples of a snath with multiple grips. Such specimens are 'a piece of cake' to make, and as you can imagine, the left hand has more options as where and how to hold the snath than the actual grip per se.|
|A portion of the snath/blade combinations I left behind.|
|Here a Costa Rica-born woman -- the chief mind behind the truly perma-cultural flavor of the ashram grounds -- is showing a fine bodily posture (but not one that in that terrain can be maintained for very long without various shifts).|
|I was surprised how practically all of the seemingly (visually) 'tough' vegetation could be cut with a scythe. Here some dry sorgum-like plant, allowed to die and partially lay down, is easily handled with a 45 cm/300gram blade.|
|The blades' edge maintenance proved to be less of a challenge on this place than I expected, perhaps because bulk of the students are already sharp-tool-using men. Rolando took to the freehand peening like fish to water, and even two of the yogis (Parvati and Kalyan) were not far behind. Here is the robust Michael at the task.|
|Whetting the Scythe, by Käthe Kollwitz|