Everyone has their favorite gardening tools.
Tools for the garden are important in Permaculture. Permaculture looks for solutions that are resilient and sustainable. Plant and crop working tools need to be simple, sustainable (usually this means non electric or gas powered) and cost effective.
Consider if you will the lowly rice knife. The hand sickle predates the neolithic period of history. The use of serrations is ancient as well, being found on ages old sickles made from wood bone and bronze.
The practicality of the Japanese sickle or rice harvest knife becomes very apparent the first time you use one. Grabbing the grass or weeds you wish to cut and cutting at the base in a circular motion gets the job done. Quickly and efficiently.
In Permaculture, the little weeding that is done in the system is accomplished primarily by “chop and drop”. One cuts the less desirable plants close to the base of the plant, leaving them fall to the ground around the productive plant, transforming the weed into mulch that builds carbon matter and nutrients in the soil covering the soil with a blanket that helps maintain moisture. Starved of light the remaining weeds eventually cease to be an issue. The rice knife is hard to beat for this task.
Keep the Knife blade clean and coated with a light coat of oil, stored out of the elements, and the rice knife will serve you long and well!
Many many varieties of hand sickles are available, and they can be had for five bucks USD. Click the link below for one source :