A Homesteader's 5 Favorite Gardening Tools


| 7/30/2014 10:38:00 AM


Tags: gardening tools, broadfork, Maine, Deer Isle Hostel, Anneli Carter Sundqvist,

broadfork

To have correct and well taken care of gardening tools is a great place to start any gardening endeavor. Here at Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead we only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.

A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. In most of our garden area the top soil is deep and light after years of building it with natural amendments such as seaweed, oak leaves and manure and very little disturbance is needed. We use tools that air and lift the soil and break up clumps and very rarely is there any need for turning or deep digging. Here are my 5 favorite gardening tools:

Broadfork 

This tall two handled fork usually comes with a 30 inch, 7 tines wide head. It's pushed into the ground by stepping on the flat upper part of the head and the handles are used as leverages to lift the soil without turning or excessively breaking it up. The large area covered by the broad head makes it time efficient and lessen the impact of gardener since fewer lift/bend movements is needed to cover the same space. The tall handles allows for a more upright position than a standard digging fork and the leverage aids to lessen the human power needed.

We use the broadfork as a way to “fluff” the soil up in the spring prior to planting but as the years go by and the quality of our soil improve we find the need for it to be less and less and that we often can skip this step in the garden preparation.




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