With Maximilian the scythe in good form, it took less than ten minutes to get it all cut. Then we raked it up and put it in a container:
It was a pound of oat seeds, "naked oats" (or avens nuda to latinists) to begin with. It is not commonly grown in Alaska, which surprisingly is a good place to grow oats. But you don't have to hull it, and I have no machinery, so it appealed to me. We will see. I haven't flailed it yet, but I think we will barely break even. I am following Gene Logsdon's Small Scale Grain Raising book (google!). Next year we may do a better variety for Alaska. I will then be faced with the problem of hulling my oats. In the old days, oat-hullers could be bought quite cheaply; nowadays they are really hard to come by. Nowadays, they are still built, but for astounding prices, like $1000 a copy. Grrr.
In Italy, there are a great number of small-scale farms. So appropriately scaled machinery is still made. Just google "walk-behind tractor" and you will see what I mean: all Italian. But by the time you import it into this country it is prohibitively expensive. So stuff you could buy reasonably from a 1905 Sears Roebuck catalog is deader than a dodo. Dear me, I suppose I am ranting. So be it. It's my blog. But just try to find, for example, a hand-operated shredder (leaves, kitchen scraps, and garden wastes). It pays to shred before you dump it on the compost heap. But a chipper-shredder with YAICE (Yet Another Internal Combustion Engine) is upwards of $1500. Far too much. And too many
There is hope, however. There is a wonderful magazine called Backwoods Home
In one of their issues, an ingenious gentleman by the name of Rev. J.D. Hooker takes a lawnmower and converts it into a shredder. You frequently find inoperative lawnmowers at yard sales really cheap. Usually a spark plug replacement is all they need. So next year...
And my daughter came out and helped me with a great number of chores that require more than two hands, and sometimes more than two brains. So we pulled some of the leeks and all the parsnips:
And the minimum temperature next day was -4C. This harvest was what the computerniks call JIT (Just in Time).