Cornish Earth

Cornish Earth

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Skyegrove Farm started off as 10 acres of grazing land, and now, although some field areas remain, has mostly
been transformed to market gardening, orchard, and some livestock.

There are 3 large polytunnels and a fruit cage. Kevin rents out one of the polytunnels and has 2 allotment sections:
one for beginner gardeners and one for more advanced gardeners. All gardeners are required to have chemical free practices.

Kevin himself grows food for local shops throughout the year — a range of annual and perennial vegetables. At one point Kevin even delivered these by wheelbarrow.

A large barn and woodstore houses tools and his “sweet meadow hay” that Kevin scythes himself.

There is no water on the land, which has led to some ingenious methods of water storage and irrigation methods.

Kevin teaches scything and hedge laying, either on his property or elsewhere and can provide the scything kit as part of a day’s tuition.

“Skyegrove…licensed to grow and nuture”

Hedgelaying at Skyegrove

Hedgelaying at Skyegrove

We prefer to lay hedges at Skyegrove instead of flailing. It provides more thickness for cover and more flower and fruit from older growth for wildlife.

Hedgelaying at Skyegrove

This was a nice stretch of Hazel, which was a pleasure. Especially as the rain had finally stopped!

European Scything Championships Austria 2019

Kevin European Championships Austria

After Switzerland 2017, where Kevin and Nigel Adams, attended and competed in the European Scything Championships for the first time, this year, a party of four went to Austria representing Great Britain and Ireland. The competition is held every two years.

The team comprised of Andy Rickard, Jonathan Adams and Kevin Austin, and was managed by Nigel Adams.

Uk-Ireland team -European Championships Austria

We Flew to Munich and drove over the border into Northern Austria, to St. Florian where the competition took place.

Material to be cut turned out to be quite different than expected, predominantly lucerne with rye grass underneath.

Once again, Austria triumphed as a team, and also the ladies, but the men’s champion came from South Tyrol.

For Team GB, although way down in the placings, great fun was had by all, and valuable experience was gained for future events.

Needing to change our style and technique for the racing setup!

Bring on Slovenia 2021!!

Skyegrove Allotment Abundance July 2019

Phew! What a relief to get some much needed rain at the Skyegrove allotments.

Some bumper crops being produced all round. Wonderful brassicas!

A spare plot is available if anybody knows someone who would like to be involved.

Skyegrove Allotment Gallery

For full-sized images click on the thumbnails below . . .

Beginner’s Scything Course July 2019

Manual hay baler

Thanks to Sandy, Peter, Guy and Jack, who were on Skyegrove’s second beginner’s course for the season. They were all quick learners and did a great job at mowing the orchard.

Hay Bales

Now all baled and in the barn before the rains come, hopefully!!

European Scything Championships — 2019

The European Championships are held every 2 years. This year, champions, Austria, are holding the championship.

Time for some practice!

A variety of larger competition blades, going up to 135cm, are generally used, as shown in the photo!

Scythe blades - European Scything championships

National Scythe Competition — Wimpole 2019

The wonderful National Trust property, Wimpole Estate in Royston Cambridgeshire, holds the annual history and craft festival, including the National Scythe competition.

Wimpole National Scythe Competition - Kevin

The West Country team won the Team mowing. It is here where the larger areas are mown.

Wimpole National Scythe Competition - Group

Kevin enjoys the longer distances as he manages large areas for his living. He won the national Quarter of an acre in a time of 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Scything — New Zealand

Kevin - Golden Bay - New Zealand

Hi Everyone!

Apologies for the lack of posts but I’m away in New Zealand on sabbatical. 

Travelling and walking the tracks of new Zealand with my scythe to earn my keep! And researching the scything and homesteading lifestyle in New Zealand.

Kevin - Scything - New Zealand