They say the sharpest knife is the safest knife. I want to affirm and attest that this is merely an old wives’ tale. Without meaning to brag, years of maintaining old fashioned farm equipment such as sickles and axes, as well as the necessity of keeping farrier tools, woodworking tools, and woodscraft knives razor sharp, has elevated my sharpening skill to legendary levels. Give me ten minutes with a butter knife and I’ll return you a straight razor. Give me five minutes with an axe and you could whittle with it. And I must remember to be more cautious of this fact, for this morning I decided to touch up the folding knife I always have on my belt around the farm. After five minutes on the Japanese waterstones and leather strop, I had inadvertently created an edge that could dice atoms. I know this because as I have worked today at slicing seed potatoes, harvesting asparagus and hosta, and whittling down poplar saplings from the coppice wood into marker stakes to show where the new asparagus crowns were planted, I came to sport a dozen tiny cuts on my left hand. The edge is so sharp that the lightest little brush is enough to cut, and like a scalpel, I cannot feel the cuts. I only know they are there when I see blood on whatever I have just sliced up to plant.
So, this year, if you come by the Hollow to join us for one of our famous organic meals of homemade dairy, meadow grown meat and garden fresh vegetables, there will quite literally be a little bit of me in every mouthful.