Mercantile: Wheel Hoe, Cardboard Animal Bedding, and More

By Staff
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Mercantile: Wheel Hoe, Cardboard Animal Bedding, and More

MOTHER’s product picks for October/November 2018.

October/November 2018 

Compiled by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors

Sturdy Wheel Hoe

From $239 at

If your farm or garden is too small for a tractor but too big for hand tools alone, the Valley Oak Wheel Hoe has you covered. This versatile tool accepts multiple quick-change attachments, such as a furrower, a cultivator, a hiller, and multiple weeding blade assemblies. The ability to switch out attachments without tools is something that editor Russell Mullin appreciates; simply pull out the pin, remove your attachment, and replace with another. “I really like that Valley Oak uses quick-release pins instead of nuts and bolts for attaching the various implements. I don’t have to worry about forgetting my wrench back in the toolshed if I decide to switch attachments out in the field.”

Made in the United States for the past 28 years, the Valley Oak wheel hoe is solid and built with longevity in mind. “In a world where planned obsolescence seems to be the norm, it’s refreshing to come across a tool that’s built to last and has replacement parts readily available if you should need them down the road.”

Farm Playset Kit

$24.99 at

Make Your Own Farm is a colorful kit containing over 40 sturdy paperboard figures that depict everything a budding farmer could need, from a house and stable to animals and implements.

Editor Caitlin Wilson says, “The illustrations are charming, and the range of props is inspiring.” The heavy paperboard box is equally well-designed, with magnetic closures on three sides of the lid to allow the top half of the box to open out flat. The printed interior will serve as a backdrop for hours of play-farming — if the kids aren’t interested, adults might well be!

Cardboard Animal Bedding

From $10 at

Made from shredded post-consumer corrugated boxes, Terra-Shred is a compostable bedding material that’s suitable for chickens and other small animals. It’s biodegradable and recyclable, and you can compost it after you’re finished using it in your coop or other animal housing.

Editorial Director Hank Will says, “My chickens love it and eagerly scratch through the material on the coop floor. It’s less dusty than hay or straw but, like hay and straw, it stays dry in my coop and the birds readily lay eggs in nesting boxes lined with it. Terra-Shred makes a fine alternative to other types of bedding and takes advantage of a ready supply of single-use cartons that would otherwise head directly to the recycler or landfill. And that makes me happy!”