“Russian Miracle Shovel” = a Crazy Broadfork Modification


Last week I posted this video on making easy raised beds with my broadfork and a triangular hoe:

In the comments, Dr M wrote:

“This link is a search on YouTube for ‘miracle shovel’ in Russian – there are many different ones, check them out. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%D1%87%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%BE+%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0″

And so I clicked the link and started watching.

This is the best video I found on the “Russian Miracle Shovel” broadfork modification:

As you can see, the tines break the ground, then the welder re-bar pieces act as a comb to shatter the clods.

Basically, this is a man-powered tiller.

Here’s what appears to be a commercially made Russian Home Shopping Network version of the tool:

On the downside, this style of broadfork doesn’t look like it could handle the really tough conditions I’ve been able to handle with the Meadow Creature.

That said, in sandy or loose soil it would be a time saver as it makes a nice seedbed as you till your way along.

Here’s a thought: what if you added one of these sifter/comb attachements to the Meadow Creature?

It could work. Maybe on the lighter 12″ tine model?


The open holes are there to add the pivoting grill so you wouldn’t have to do anything to the broadfork itself.

I dunno, I’m not an engineer, but I’m sure one of you could figure out how to reinvent one as a “Russian miracle shovel.” It would probably be too heavy, though. Maybe the grill could be made of titanium!

I love tools which don’t require gasoline or expensive parts. The broadfork is already head and shoulders above digging with a spading fork. The “Russian miracle shovel” style of sifting broadfork would probably work well as a second pass after the Meadow Creature did the really hard work.

A Promotional Raffle

Finally for today, Jason of Rebel Gardens is doing a raffle-style giveaway and let me know about it.

“Three lucky winners will win a copy of the popular DVD Grow Your Own Groceries and a HUGE selection of Rebel Gardens seeds. Total value of almost $150 each!”

That’s Marjory’s film he’s sharing, along with his seeds – no purchase required.

Have fun.

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  • Hmmm. But isn’t this just like tilling the ground? Not quite, of course, but it is breaking up the soil; i.e. destroying the soil structure, although to a lesser degree.

    The point of broadforking is just to loosen the soil without actually harming the soil structure, right?

    To be clear, I’m not sure about this but wanted to throw it out to gain a better understanding.

    • I don’t have a problem with tilling the ground sometimes, but you have a point. I use my broadfork to till. I don’t just loosen with it, I often turn the ground over. You’re right, though, that this “miracle shovel” isn’t as low impact. It looks like you don’t really have the choice to just puncture the soil without breaking it all up.

  • BTW, it sure would be nice to have some kind of comment alert function to notify of followup/additional comments here. (Unless there’s something already that I’ve overlooked.)

    Totally your choice, of course. It’s just that in order to engage in a discussion I have to leave the window open in order to remember to come back to it and see if anything further has been said. And that never works well.

    Just a thought.

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