A scythe can be used to harvest building materials. Reed Canary grass can be harvested in early winter for making thatched roofs and cob building. If harvested in early winter after a couple of light snows, and freezes and thaws, the leaves tend to fall off, leaving mostly stalks, which is better for thatching. Reed Canary grass can also be harvested in late Fall, in prime condition, and stored for the next season of cob building. Run it through a chipper and mix with the clay for cob building.
What would be more fitting roofing material for a cob building, than a thatched roof. Here is a nice little video on the traditional method of harvesting water reed with a scythe, for thatching roofs.
Water reed makes the most durable thatched roof, but the long straw from heritage grains can also be used for thatching. My Sepp Holzer rye would make a nice straw for that, as would my Black Winter Emmer wheat, I would guess. They are both at least 5ft tall, with great stems. I would love to experiment with that, if only I had more time, and energy, and money! Who wouldn't like to live in a place like this:
Is there any interest in thatching in the USA? Yes, there is. See these links: