Re[2]: Tools for Small CSA's & Moldboards etc.

We too used to plow with an International 4 bottom after hay leys in our organic
plots of heavy clay. We also used a heavy Ghirardi plow in our conventionally 
farmed lands after cotton. We found that depending on moisture levels and the 
equipment, there was less inversion of soil layers with the international- 
although there was some soilmixing of course. 

In addition to the tradional moldboard, we used a John Deere spring-mounted 
chisel plow with straight shanks for most jobs. Two passes allowed us to cut a 
furrow for large seeds, or lightly till or harrow for small grains & vegetables.
We also used an International 3' subsoiler with no wings on the shanks on 
breaking very hard ground. Two passes with this & another passes with a 2-way 
disk was adequate preparation for orchard planting. Both of these are less 
invasive methods of tillage in heavy clay, allowing for maximum trash retention 
& minimum soil inversion.

I have also seen the 8hp BCS used with great effect as a walk-behind tractor for
traction & cargo hauling in remote areas of former Yugo, Cyprus & the 
Palestinian autonomous zones where 1\2 tons or wheeled tractors could not enter.
The BCS unit has great attachments (plow, snow-blower etc) that may be useful to
you (depending on the circumstances) or not. Over the long run (10-15 years 
heavy use in stony ground), the Troy-built seems to be a little more durable...

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Tools for Small CSA's
Author:  woodyw@juno.com at INTERNET
Date:    7/25/97 7:37 PM


You don't mention what tool you use for tillage.  While I use 
(temporarily, until we can get a spader)  a tractor, moldboard plow, and 
disk for sodbusting/primary tillage, my standby for bed finishing, spot 
tilling and cultivation is an 8 HP BCS rototiller, middle of the line 
(they make 'em up to 14 horse).  IMO, this one is far superior to the 
Troy-Bilt Horse...though I used the latter happily for several years. 
The BCS is made in Italy with a U.S. made engine.  2 grand and worth it.

There are those who say rototillers are the worst thing you can use on 
garden soil...that they mix up the soil layers and homogenize soil 
particles all to the same size.  Not my experience at all on our heavy 
clay when the tilling is done under the right moisture conditions.  

Woody Wodraska--Seeking Common Ground CSA 
Honeoye Falls, NY          woodyw@juno.com 
"There is no scarcity abiding in Nature; 
Any scarcity we see is our own doing." 

On Thu, 24 Jul 1997 10:53:55 -0400 (EDT) RfarmChico@aol.com writes:
>I am a one man operation CSA in Norhtern California and am interested 
>in tips
>and tools for the very small farm. I have been selling at local 
>markets since 1990, became a CSA in 1995 (CSA exclusive for two years) 
>now am both selling at local markets and distributing to members. 
>Some of my favorite tools are:
>The Garden Way Planter: Cheap, light, versitile, body powered. I don't 
>of a better push planter. It is enough for my 4 acre (at max) 
>The "Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook" from the folks at MACSAC: 
>(Madison Area CSA Coalition (MACSAC) maintains an updated directory of 
>CSA farms serving the Madison, WI area and sponsor several CSA-related 
>events each year, including a CSA Farm Fair in March, farm tours 
>the summer, and conferences and grower workshops in the fall and 
>We also have ongoing regular meetings which are open to the public. 
>Karen Foley-Stauss c/o Wisconsin Rural Development Center, 125 
>Dr., Mt. Horeb, WI 53572, 608/437-5971. ) 
>The Cookbook was put together with CSA's in mind and is organized 
>to vegetable. A GREAT!!!! resource. (Thankyou MACSAC FOLKS!) 
>The last is a wheelhoe made by the guy who got me started in organic 
>vegetable growing 10 or so years ago. He has just got up a web page <A 
>ttp://www.sunset.net/valleyoaktool">Valley Oak Tool Co. that you can 
>at www.sunset.net/valleyoaktool. I use it all the time. Great weed 
>close to the row.
>The last one is a simple eye hoe or grub hoe. I didn't discover them 
>until I
>was 37 and I've been in agriculture all my life. With a sharp edge 
>they are a
>dirt farmer's best friend. (I have a little article on it and other 
>too big to put here - that I will e-mail you if you are interested.) 
>I am looking for a real good hand pruner for my peaches and Asian 
>pears. Any
>experience with one?
>I was also turned on to a great book for us little income, little 
>the book Your Money or Your Life.
>I'd welcome your suggestions.