Courses 2014

The Scythe is the ideal tool for the garden or smallholding. It is versatile, green and fun to use!

Setting up the scythe

Learning how to set up the scythe

Most of our courses are held on the wildflower meadow of Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust in South West Wales and are led by experienced mower and Scythe teacher Philip Batten.

Philip was taught to scythe by the renowned scythe master, Peter Vido at the first West Country Scythe Festival in 2005. Since then, the scythe has become an indispensable tool and Philip has built up considerable experience with its use and maintenance. Philip has won medals for the quality of his scything and now teaches at the festival as well as at the Trust.

What we offer on our courses:

    • Lots of hands on experience of all aspects of the use of the scythe. We find people learn best by doing.
    • The benefit of our experience in the use of the scythe. We are not just scythe teachers – we use the scythe almost daily in a variety of situations.
    • A chance to “try before you buy” or help to get your scythe set up well, if you own one already.
    • Friendly, relaxed learning environment
    • The opportunity to visit a permaculture smallholding where the scythe is integral to the management

 

Scythe Courses 2014

See below for more details on all courses, or click on a course.

6th-Aug-Peening.jpgGet ready to mow – Peening workshop

July-17-team-mow.jpgIntroductory Scythe Course

July-13-Stackpole-hay.jpgHand Haymaking Workshop

graft tree buds removedOther Courses – Apple Grafting Workshop

Bespoke courses - Arrange a private course for your group

Guided Tours of Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust

Booking on a course and enquires

Advanced Scythe Course at the site of the West Country Scythe Festival, Somerset

The West Country Scythe Festival and Green Fair in Somerset

Book for two or more scythe courses at the Trust and receive a 10% discount (eg a Introductory course and a Peening workshop or Improvers course; or the Peening workshop and the Improvers course)

Introductory Scythe CoursesJuly-17-team-mow.jpg

The aim of this course is to teach you what you need to know to get you mowing. It is an ideal beginning before you buy your first scythe or to improve your technique if your already have one.

The course is very hands-on and we aim to give you plenty of chance to practice. The day starts with looking at how to set up a scythe so that it will work well for you, then it is out to the field to have a go at mowing. After lunch we cover the all important job of keeping your blade sharp and cutting well, including the art of peening.

All equipment is provided. There will be an opportunity to purchase a scythe and related equipment at the end of the day, including a blade that has been peened and is ready to mow.

No. of places – 8
Cost £50

We would like our courses to be accessible to all. If you are unable to afford the full price, please contact us to discuss concessions. We also are open to accepting volunteer help as part or full payment from up to one person per course.

Time: 10am – 4pm
Dates:
Saturday 24th May,  Wednesday 9th July or Saturday 30th August

*To maximise the participant experience, we aim is to limit the number of participants on each course to 8.

Booking on a course and enquires
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Get ready to Mow – Peening workshop6th-Aug-Peening.jpg


The key to relaxed, easy mowing that is gentle on your body is a
REALLY sharp blade, so learning to peen and sharpen well can transform your mowing experience.

This is a day long workshop to help you really get to grips with the art of sharpening and peening your blade and get it ready for the season ahead. Knowing how to get your blade really sharp can make a lot of difference to the ease and quality of your mowing.

Subject covered will include setting up and using a peening station, peening with a jig,

A Peening Jig

A Peening Jig

free-hand peening and blade repair. There will be plenty of time to work on your own blade and get it into top mowing condition with help on hand.

This course is a useful addition to the peening taught on the Introductory course, or for the more experienced mower who would like to take their blade care to a higher level.

Peening equipment will be provided, although you are also encouraged to bring your own. Bring your own blade, practice blades will be available. There will be an opportunity to purchase further scythe and peening equipment.

Date -

Sunday 6th April, 10am – 4pm or Wednesday 23rd July 10am-4pm

Cost – £40
We would like our courses to be accessible to all. If you are unable to afford the full price, please contact us to discuss concessions. We also are open to accepting volunteer help as part or full payment from up to one person per course.

Booking on a course and enquires
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Hand Hay Making WorkshopJuly-13-Stackpole-hay.jpg

A day long workshop exploring the techniques we use when making hay by hand on the land of Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust, including the use of racks. For further details please contact us.

Date – Wednesday 16th July, 10am – 4pm

Cost – £50
We would like our courses to be accessible to all. If you are unable to afford the full price, please contact us to discuss concessions. We also are open to accepting volunteer help as part or full payment from up to one person per course.

Booking on a course and enquires
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Two day Advanced Scythe Course at the West Country Scythe Fair, Somerset

The ultimate scythe course! Led by three of the leading scythe teachers in the UK – Philip Batten, Steve Tomlin and Christiana Lechner – this is currently the most in depth scythe course in the UK. As well as helping the individual to improve all aspects of their scything, the course also covers teaching and team leading (eg using the scythe with volunteer groups.)

It is recommended that you have attended an Introductory course and / or have some experience of using the scythe before doing this course.

For further information and to book please contact Simon Fairlie on 01297 561359; chapter7@tlio.org.uk

Date – To be confirmed

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The West Country Scythe Fair, Somerset

This festival is great, the original British scythe festival. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet and chat with scythers from all over the UK and maybe even have a go in the mowing competitions. It is a very family friendly event, with a green fair running alongside to add extra interest.

See The Green Fair for more details

Date – Sunday 15th June

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Bespoke Courses

We can run bespoke courses at the Trust on any aspect of scything, for groups of up to 8 people. Please contact us for details.

We hand make hay by hand from July onwards, as weather permits. Volunteers welcome to come for up to a week at a time to help and learn.

Scythes for sale!

We now have a selection of Austrian-style scythes, blades, peening and sharpening equipment available to buy. Contact us for details

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For more details on all courses and bookings:

email scythecymru@yahoo.co.uk

Camping space is available for all courses if you are travelling from further afield. There is also a good Bed and Breakfast in the village of Penboyr, adjacent to the Trust, see www.llaingof.co.uk

Apple Tree Grafting Workshopgraft tree buds removed

Learn a simple method to graft your own apple trees with Philip Batten of the Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust.

Grafting your own trees allows you to produce apple trees cheaply, or from rare or unusual stock.

This hands on workshop will cover the whole process from selecting and buying rootstock, finding suitable grafting material, the grafting process and aftercare of the trees. There will be ample opportunity to practice.

We will have a selection of varieties available for you to try grafting, all of which are suitable for growing in West Wales.

The course price includes two FREE apple trees per participant, plus the opportunity to purchase more trees at the reduced rate of £10 per tree.

Date: Monday 21st April 11am-4pm
Cost: £35 Includes two FREE apple tree per participant

Booking on a course and enquires

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Guided Tours of the Trust

The Dyfed Smallholders in the annual vegatable garden.

The Dyfed Smallholders enjoying a tour of the annual vegatable garden.

Guided tours of the land and gardens of the Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust can be arranged and will give you a first hand opportunity to see and hear about what happens on the farm and the philosophy behind it. Questions are always welcome and tours can be focused on the particular interest of your group. There is always something of interest to see and visits are welcome all year round.

A tour cost from £20 and generally lasts for about two hours.

Please contact us for more information or to book a visit.

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