Low Technology Institute

Skill Share Workshop: Basic and Improving Scything

SythesThis is a repost of material from Botan Anderson’s site, One Scythe Revolution (1SR). Botan is teaching a weekend full of sycthing classes at this year’s Sustainability Skill Share (see full course descriptions at the linked page). Attendees can take a day- or weekend-long course covering scything basics and/or more intermediate topics, with prices starting at $48. You can hear him talk about sything in a previous Low Tech Podcast (No. 28 — A Visit to One Scythe Revolution).

Register Now!

No Noise, No Fossil Fuels, No Pollution

Whether you are alarmed about Climate Catastrophe, Peak Oil, Social Justice, Health Care, Food Safety & Security, or all of the above; at their roots, they all have one solution in common: We must fundamentally change the way we grow our food!  Big, mechanized, chemical agriculture is ruining our health, depleting our soil, building up toxins in our environment, eroding and leaching the soil, massively increasing CO2 levels in our atmosphere, and financially devastating the closest thing that we have to sustainable farmers; namely small family farms.

Peak Oil expert Richard Heinberg speculates that in order to continue to grow the same amount of food in the future, without burning fossil fuels, we will need 40-50 million farmers, farming 3-50 acres, mostly with hand tools. No, not like in the Middle Ages. We are talking about appropriate technology here, and fundamentally rethinking our growing methods to work in harmony with Nature.

​Small-scale farmers, meet one of your new tools. The cutting edge technology of the European scythe!

Workshop Details

Saturday: Scythe Workshop. Learn the skill of mowing with a scythe. Form, fit, and function will be covered in depth. How to mow with a scythe and keep it sharp. A hands-on intensive learning course.

Sunday: Scything Improver’s Workshop: Build on what you learned the day before. Advanced sharpening, mowing lawns and prairie maintenance, will be some of the topics covered. If enough people bring their own blades for peening, we can go more in-depth with hands on peening.

You’ll be outside during these classes, so dress appropriately. Scythes will be provided for you, but if you are interested in purchasing a scythe, head over to One Scythe Revolution’s catalog and pick one up for Botan to bring out for you to learn on this weekend.

You can register for the whole weekend or  Saturday’s all-day basics, Sunday morning’s mowing, or Sunday afternoon’s peening classes individually.

Register Here!

The Instructor: Botan Anderson

I have more than a decade of scything and teaching experience. I have the training to be the USA’s only member of the International Scythe Network. I myself use a scythe intensively. I’ve been been farming with a scythe since 2001, and mow on nearly a daily basis. I have been teaching scythe workshops since 2006, and I also teach customers that visit me in person. Teaching so many workshops and individuals over the years  has helped me evolve my teaching methods as to what people really need to know to be effective as quickly as possible, without being overly complex. With your scythe outfit purchase you get a detailed instructional email with links to my videos, along with an invitation to my scythe forum that makes it easy for you to ask follow-up questions.

When I first declared my intention in 1999 to start a scythe-based natural farm, my friends told me skeptically that it would be too much work. Alas, with the scythe equipment and instructions available at the time, they were correct. Luckily for you I am very persistent and sought out better instructions, and I discovered there was a much more proficient level of scythe equipment available in Europe, but unavailable here. So I took it upon myself to start importing the better scythe equipment and other tools. I am continuously seeking out better tools to make this idea of a hand-tooled scaled, natural farming/permaculture easier to do. I test and use every product myself so I know that they will work like I say they do. With many of the products I carry, I am either the first, or the only scythe seller in the US to carry these tools.


The Sustainability Skill Share brings people together to learn practical skills in hands-on classes focused on housing, clothing, and feeding ourselves in a world without fossil fuels. In addition to dozens of classes taking place over two days, we will also have a social aspect: camping, meals, a documentary screening, and perhaps music. This event will happen June 1–2, 2019 in Cooksville, Wisconsin. This will be the pilot year of what we hope will be an annual festival of classes related to sustainability, DIY, hands-on, and individual or community self-sufficiency.

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