I am often asked if one can mow a lawn with a scythe. Sure you can!
A scene from Scythe Fest 2013.
The personal matter that absorbed Levin during his conversation with his brother was this. Once in a previous year he had gone to look at the mowing, and being made very angry by the bailiff he had recourse to his favorite means for regaining his temper,--he took a scythe from a peasant and began mowing.
As you can imagine, on my scythe-based farm, I don't use roto-tillers either. I have heavy clay soil here. If I need to work the soil under a mulched garden bed, I use the tools pictured on the right. First, I remove the mulch. Then I sprinkle on soil amendments (minerals, bio-char and compost.) Next, I loosen the bed with my Gulland Forge broadfork. Then I use the Japanese garden knife to dig out any deep rooted weeds, like thistles, dandelion, and burdock. I then work the amendments into the soil with a 3-tine cultivator. I like this Swiss made one from Johnnies. Next, I rake the bed smooth for the seeds with a garden rake with short teeth.