I have some entertaining machete footage in my latest video:
I was given my first machete when I was a kid. It had belonged to my Dad and came from Colombia, complete with a beaded leather sheath.
I wish I knew what happened to it. I believe it was stolen from my parents’ carport down in South Florida. That’s pretty typical for South Florida, actually. People will rip off your mangoes, your aluminum, your newly planted trees, your bike, your license plate… and your heirloom machete.
Today I own at least three machetes and use them all. The cane machete I usually carry has a lot of heft plus a hook at the back for pulling in sugarcane. It also works well for pulling down fruit and branches as well as hooking into tree limbs for support as you try to climb a slope.
In this video, however, I’ve borrowed my wife’s British cutlass-style machete made my Martindale and Co. It’s longer and much better for throwing. As you can see from what it did to the breadfruit, I keep it very sharp.
Learning to throw a machete takes time. You need to learn to calculate the heft and the rotation in order to get a good sweep… and finding the thrown blade after its arc has ceased somewhere in the jungle can be a chore.
Throwing the machete while holding a camera isn’t easy. I hit the mango above on the first try, but what I did to the breadfruit was definitely unintentional, though hilarious.
The machete is one of the tools I recommend to everyone in the book Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening.
It’s not just a good tool for a wide range of tasks. It’s also a formidable weapon and a great way to say “hi” to people sneaking into your carport at night.