Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

A Tool For the Trade

5/21/2013 2:21:00 PM

Tags: garden tools, local food, Bethann Weick

Garden ForkThe fork - the garden fork, that is – is a most excellent and invaluable tool.  Four-pronged, with minimal curvature, and a short handle, the garden fork serves to aerate the soil into which it is worked, undo the effects of soil compaction, and loosen the grip of weeds beneath the ground’s surface. 

The garden fork that Ryan and I have is old.  We’re not quite sure how old is old … but it once rested inside Ryan’s grandmother’s toolshed before it took it’s place within ours.  It’s wooden handle is old and weathered, the metal components a faded green.  This fork has played a leading role as our gardens slowly claim territory from the encroaching woods.  It has enabled us to easily weed our more established garden zones as well as pioneer new garden beds.  From the “good dirt” to the “bad dirt,” from the existing beds to the creation of new ones, this savvy garden fork has navigated with determination and resolve a plethora of virgin’s bower, brambles, wild strawberries, sorrel, dandelions, thistles, and ferns, not to mention all manner of grasses and undefined weeds. 

However, just the other day, the Snap happened: that unequivocal crack of long-dried wood.  Then, the Exclamation.  My initial dismay was vocal, and ricocheted adrenaline right through my stomach.  In a split second, my mind was already wondering: how do folks garden without a garden fork?

This was a formidable query.  I had other tools on hand, and did my best to adjust.  A hoe, different styles of forks, a hori-hori trowel, a shovel…but nothing suitably erased the soil compaction without thoroughly disturbing the soil strata.  And so, I resumed the task at hand with a rather reduced garden fork in my fist.  Not quite as effective, but it did work comfortably…while kneeling.  In this manner, the flower bed before me was prepared with more satisfactory results than my other options could offer. 

This was not the end, however, of the old forkfor this is the beauty of tools.  Wooden handles can be made or bought, and the new affixed to the old.  Thus the work of our garden fork will continue, for the weeds have not halted in the interim.  Always, there is much to do. 

 

For ecological garden design and maintenance, orchard care, or weeds pulled from your garden or landscaped house front, please contact Beth via b.a.weick@gmail.com.



Related Content

Hotter is Better With Hand-Held Torches

Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, raves about his favourite hand held torch tool, the BernzOma...

Fighting Over Food

Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!

Modern Homesteading Treasures

For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles...

A Homesteading Alphabet

Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name?...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.