The Rice Knife : Garden tool extraordinaire

//The Rice Knife : Garden tool extraordinaire

The Rice Knife : Garden tool extraordinaire



Rice Knife or Hand Sickle

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.


Girl harvesting Rice, Indonesia


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.



R Knife

Author trimming around Goji Berries

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 :

Japanese Sickle – JAPANESE SICKLE

By | 2015-09-13T01:36:22+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Michael obtained his Permaculture Design Certification via Geoff Lawton, PRI, in 2013 , and had been a student of Permaculture Design independently for many years prior to obtaining the PDC. He is formerly trained in teaching Permaculture, and is a Graduate student in Agroforestry at the University of Missouri. His interest in Permaculture came through an interest in sustainable food production and a desire for nutrient rich foods. He is particularly interested in the value of food forests, perennial food production, and medicinal plants and herbs. Michael's experience as a licensed Financial Advisor and prior career in hospital administration and Human Resources have given him unique perspectives on the economics of Permaculture Design and the management of inputs. Michael is presently creating a demonstration site on acreage in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (temperate climate). He is also looking to work in Aid work situations worldwide to further his experience in varied climates. His ultimate goal is to teach the PDC and Agroforestry domestically as well as abroad in developing countries where quality nutrition is not readily available. He is available as a permaculture design consultant and lecturer. His Bio here:

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