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Scythe Buyers' Guide





The Scythe Network's Retail Division

With respect to real mowing satisfaction, as well as the collective learning of how to tread lightly upon this Earth, our vision is of the scythe being distributed by many individuals and groups. Thus the tool, along with the high standard of service, could be made available within driving, cycling or even walking distance of any aspiring mower.

The purpose of the Scythe Network's involvement in retailing is to place a good scythe into the hands of people who otherwise have had and still would have difficulty obtaining it. A necessary accompaniment to that step is to provide adequate practical information, which must include hands-on courses as well as written material. Both of the latter should be of better quality than has been available thus far. The specific format of teaching courses and retailing tools will inevitably vary from country to country; it must, however, be guided by an agreed-upon code of ethics.

That code, for instance, should deter individuals or groups from making an easy profit by using deceptive advertising and less-than-honest promotional strategies. (Potentially true statements, such as "The European-style scythe is easy/almost effortless to use", "The Austrian scythe blades are light and sharp", "Light, sharp and effective this scythe will mow, clear and harvest with ease", etc. need to be qualified (see note).

To become a member of the Scythe Network's retailing group, an individual or organization must:

  • 1. view their scythe selling as service first, business second;
  • 2. commit to learning to use the scythe well and understand the technical principles of satisfactory fit and good edge maintenance;
  • 3. be willing to offer some live demonstrations and hands-on practical courses each season;
  • 4. attend periodic review seminars designed specifically for scythe course teachers.
  • The Scythe Association of Austria (Sensenverein Österreich), founded in 2005, may be the first functioning example of an organized group effort at the above. Though presently most of its website's content is in German only, the webmaster as well as many other members speak English. As well, an extensive photo gallery is on the site (click here for a direct link). Inquiries or contributions to the "forum" can be posted in any language and subsequently translated. Its retail mail order service is available to customers in the countries where no equivalent exists at this time.

    Although The Scythe Shop of England is a one-person company, we consider it part of the Scythe Network partly because it is operated by a long-standing social activist who puts people ahead of profits. Consequently the Sensenverein will not sell to anyone in the British Isles.

    As of May 2006, Scythe Connection, as a forerunner to the "North American Retail Service Division", began selling scythes and accessories via mail order. The online catalogue can be found here.

    3 May 2006
    Modified 29 Nov. 2006
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