Mowing Hay With Scythe at Traditional Farm in Dobrogea, Romania
With a garden in which they grow fruits and vegetables, making artisan cheese and yogurt with the milk produced by their dairy cows, and have a brood of laying hens and ducks, 56 years old Ursache Gheorghe is living a sustainable lifestyle away from the city, in the Romanian seaside village of Hagieni, Dobrogea region. The village is a quiet, natural world with rich flora and fauna, well hidden from the big main road. The farm is very well-kept. The cows are kept in stalls and fed hay during the cold season. Despite the heavy workload, he claims that growing food for consumption gets him closer to nature. A lot of his work is a throwback to the rural lifestyle which our ancestors used to practice. For instance, mowing hay by hand. There is plenty of natural grass growing in the area. He needs no less than a total of 30,000 pounds of hay to feed the animals during the winter. All hand cut with a scythe manually baled and stored in the tall barn. There is one good reason why he chose to perform such a considerable amount of work. The use of machines imprints a scent of gasoline on the hay, one that animals can sense.
On summer mornings, after milking and sending the cows to pasture, Mr. Ursache is mowing hay. He picks up the old scythe used by his grandfather and goes to the backyard.
The scythe has a blade that is thin, curved, and made of slightly soft steel. He starts by sharpening the scythe with a scythe-beating hammer. In addition to this, he uses a grinder stone to sharpen the scythe. In one day, he mows enough hay to fill a horse cart. For the next three days, the hay is left in the field to dry.
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