Instead of buying that expenditures hand tool you go to Home Depot and rent a motorized tiller and do the job in a few hours and then go do your regular job haha this has to be a joke… I mean if you live somewhere where it would be ok to run a tiller in your yard say out in the country every second neighbor will own tiller or a tractor with a large tilling blade and for prob the price of fuel that you’ll have to make them take they would till your garden for you. This type of hand tool is not something that anyone living in 2023 in America should be using unless you just want to make a YouTube video are take pictures with it. Hell you might as well buy a wash board and wash your clothes by hand in a wooden tub. Haha
A few things to consider:
1. This broadfork loosens soil to over 12″, whereas a motorized tiller only turns over the top 4-5″.
2. A standard tiller shreds the soil and inverts it, but a broadfork does not shred it, and does not have to invert it.
3. Do you really think our standard of living is going to continue as it is right now? There’s nothing wrong with buying and using a tiller, but where do the parts come from? What about the gas? Everything is more fragile than we think, and hand tools are very important to understand, keep and use as backups. And that’s no joke.
Now, full disclosure, I do own a tiller, and I do use it to make new beds.
But I have made many, many beds with a broadfork as well. And it makes a much higher quality bed, especially when combined with the addition of compost. If you throw your compost on a new bed location before broadforking, the tines open pockets into which the humus will fall as you fork, giving you a deeper addition of nutrients for plant roots to discover.
The reason we do things like this:
Is because we don’t trust in people like this:
And we don’t trust in an endless supply of this:
Or in the uninterrupted supply of goods coming from a place like this:
So we learn to use tools that work no matter what, and we stay fit.
In the West Indies we built and maintained a 1/4 acre garden with hand tools during the early days of the pandemic. Most of the work was done with grub hoes and a Meadow Creature broadfork.
Do you remember the pandemic, “South?” Do you remember all the issues with supply lines and lockdowns, etc. We do. And that was nothing, as pandemics go.
How high is your trust level in the stability of 2023 America?
Not only does the broadfork work well to make garden beds, it’s near indestructible. Use your tiller when you can, sure, but remember that a broadfork will not fail even when all else does. This is one of the main reasons we use and maintain hand tools.
And a washboard isn’t a bad idea either.
*Chinese factory image via AP/Chinatopix.
I love my broadfork. Perhaps South isn’t aware that continued tilling creates hardpan and while we do have a tiller attachment for the tractor, every few years I’ll go through and break up the subsoil with my Meadow Creature (which I named Wolverine). It’s especially necessary for root crops. It’s not easy in magnesium excess soil that acts like clay, but short of a Yeoman’s plow, it’s the best way to break up hard pan. Yeah, it’s a bit pricey but it really is indestructible. And it’s a good workout.
One benefit of a broadfork is that you can use it when the ground is sodden and it helps dry the top level so you can get tilling much earlier. It also breaks up my clay to allow the tiller to run more quickly. I am a fan.
The Basques used a “laia” (laya in Spanish) as a manual tiller in their fields. It is like a broadfork split in two, and you run it like your Meadow creature.
Every time you write about these, I am so tempted to get a broadfork. And then I look around and realize that there is not a micron of clay anywhere within half a mile of me, and a regular old shovel is probably good enough 🙂 Someday. Maybe.
Meanwhile, though, spring started happening back in March, I despaired a little because once again, we are stuck in a rental house… and then I looked around at all the grubby marks my kids have already made on the walls, calculated my odds of getting the deposit back, and said “to hell with it!” and started digging garden beds. What finally tipped me over the edge was the idea of putting all those hedge trimmings out by the road for trash collection. Throwing away perfectly good free carbon mass. Couldn’t do it. We have become mulching machines.
Sweet. David the Indecisive just saved me a bunch of money. I was gonna get one, but I read the headline and now I don’t need to.
I really do need to get a scythe.
I would like a broad fork but I must admit the price and old injury have stopped this purchase. My yard is top soil/clay on top of limestone. I am curious, do you sharpen the boardfork thigns? What is meadow creature going for at the moment?
I do not sharpen the tines – I don’t think it’s necessary. MeadowCreature.com is their website.
Ah we got political today. Well I did know it was bound to happen sooner or later. Thanks for the mostly great run David and best of luck with all of your endeavors. I will enjoy the DTG books I already own and you don’t have to worry about this garden-dirty hippy mucking up your comments any longer.
Do you think I like /any/ politicians? If you knew me better, you would realize I despise the entire political system, from top to bottom. But goodbye, anyhow. I don’t understand why you would leave community on behalf of politicians far away who care nothing for us.
Some people will separate from those they have real-world commonality with on behalf of politicians that live thousands of miles away and steal half (at least) of the fruits of their labor. It’s truly insane.
Don’t ever change. There are plenty of us out here that know what time it is.
I know the earth will never run out of oil but that doesn’t mean we’ll get access to it forever. They’re already starting with the nonsense.
I think what triggered the person is that the picture you posted was of the blue team since they’re the current mascot of the human farm. If you would’ve shown a picture of the red team, they would probably be singing your praises. It’s sad really because they have way more in common with you than any of the clowns on the telescreen.
Also, if you were a decent hippie, you would hate the damned warmongers.
Wait a minute – do you support Big Oil?