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Rush harvesting?

Anyone here ever done it? I know this is the right time of year, but that's the limit of my knowledge! And I fancy making some shoe soles. (or mats if I can get enough.    )


What kind of rushes though ??

The loch/lake rush ? the wee green field rush or the cattails ?

The first ones you need a boat with a flat surface ( you can trail a sheet of marine or exterior ply that's supported on loads of empty air filled plastic bottles just lashed on behind something like a canoe if nowt else is available) because you really want as long as you can and you don't want to bend them. Best cut with a sharp long handled scythe, and reach down deep into the water to cut them free.

The little field rushes, sedge, loads of different names…..are best pulled. I pull them stem by stem and that way I get them cleaned out and only sound ones in my bunches. They make good cordage, they are traditionally used to make kishies, the docken stem or oat straw back baskets used for peats or fish, or well, anything folks used to carry themselves.

Cattails are cut, but usually grow shallow enough that a good sharp knife (a pruning knife or a mushroom knife or something like a svord peasant) works very well indeed.


I know they harvest English Bullrush on the River Great Ouse around Ely as I have seen boats laden with cut rush when I've been out fishing.

May be worth a having look here: Rush Matters

Felicity Irons (and her family ) cut rushes for their own work and to sell.
Her work is superb

That's what gave me the idea, plus the local river has bullrushes. Looks like I might need to make a coracle first. :s I was hoping I could just wade in to get them. (I still think I probably can.)

eta thanks Toddy, that should get me started next year at least, if not this year. ;)

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