25, Aug 2020
INTERVIEW WITH PEPPI – PART 2
In August it’s time for harvesting the alpine grass at the alp meadows at 1,700 meters above sea level and also higher. The arnica blossoms are already faded and the plants have spread their seeds. Now the hard work really starts!
HOW DO YOU HARVEST?
Depending on the steepness of the slopes, you can’t handle the motor mower anymore. It only helps to take the scythe.
A sharp edge is absolutely necessary. Therefore, already after a few cuts the edge is sharpened again.
To harvest with the scythe is a science in itself. The best even compete in a championship…
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SCYTHE?
The most important thing is certainly a sharp edge! The scythe must be maintained in order to make the optimum use and enjoy it for a long time. Dills and broken spikes on the cutting blade are repaired during sharpening.
Peppi learned how to build a scythe from his father. Only very few people understand this traditional craft anymore. Even as a young boy he harvested the hay with his own child scythe.
WIE LANGE BRAUCHT DAS HEU ZUM TROCKNEN?
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DRY THE HAY?
The cut flowers and grasses keep lying at the meadow up to 3 days, depending on daytime temperature, and are turned at least once.
The weather report has to be on point! The hay is then added together with a wide rake.
HOW DO YOU GET THE HAY INTO THE BARN?
Mostly the barns are located at the bottom of the alp meadow where the hay is stored airy.
So that you do not have to rake the hay down the entire steep slope, the hay is packed in tarpaulins and tied up.
NOW WE A LOT OF POWER AND BALANCE IS NEEDED.
The big and very heavy hay packages are shouldered and carefully carried down the meadow to the barns.
There the hay is drawn with a hay fork into the barn – a very dusty and exhausting activity…
MANY HELPING HANDS PUT AN END TO THE WORK…
This summer too, the family helped together again – even the kids were already there with their rakes! The weather was fine and so the hay could be brought in well.
We thank Peppi and his family for the insights into their work with hay in the steep mountain meadows of Fließ!
Interview by Alexandra Jehart and Anna Gritsch. Photos: Family Schlatter, Martin Jehart