Thursday, May 28, 2015

Harvesting the Cover Crop

Sickle v scythe. The Austrian Winter Peas, approximately 12x12 feet, were harvested using a sickle I have had for years. The pea stem was pretty soft and cut well with the sickle. The main problem was the length of the sickle handle. I had to either bend way over or kneel to get a good angle on the cutting.

Then I tried a patch of winter rye, slightly larger than the patch of pea cover crop. The stems were much tougher and required a smaller "bite" with each swipe of the sickle. And I had to kneel for the entire patch.

Altogether it took me about 40 minutes to cut those two patches of cover crop using the sickle.

Then I cut the remaining patch of winter rye using the scythe. That patch was about 12x25 feet and took about seven minutes to cut down with the scythe. And I was able to stand the whole time! The definite winner is the scythe.

The sheep think the Austrian Winter Peas dried in the sun make a mighty tasty hay too.

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