Friday, June 12, 2009

Tools of the Trade


I'm a big fan of tools. I love tools that are well made and work well and I've found that doing things by hand means I really need my tools to work well, or I end up working much harder. The photo above is a sampling of the tools that we're using on the farm. A lot of the tools are variations on themes for specific conditions and tasks. For example, there are four different versions of forks that I use (three pictured): a spading fork, a compost fork, a potato fork, and a monster sized four tine fork (pictured in previous posts). I just bought a trio of rakes as well and I'm really enjoying the DeWitt seed rake - tines not too close to clog and heavy enough to break clods. In preparing a bed for planting I'll usually use at least five separate tools in succession, each for a slightly different part of the process.


One of the other really useful items we just started using is this sprinkler set up for soaking individual beds. The proper soil moisture is as critical for getting a well prepared bed as it is for germinating seeds. We've been using the sprinklers to evenly presoak beds for digging and also for germinating seeds. Once the seeds have germinated and are established we switch to drip lines which are more efficient and don't encourage as many weeds.

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