Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

The Benefits of Using a Broadfork

Just when I thought we were finished purchasing garden supplies, Jon discovers the broadfork.  I was skeptical at first on whether we really needed this tool.  There's a lot of conflicting information about how to aerate and loosen the soil using a rototiller so I was unsure if using a broadfork was a good choice.  Come to find out, the broadfork is very useful for soil like ours which contains a lot of clay and leaves water collecting in pools on top of the soil creating "rivers" where the terrain is sloped.

Two years ago when we moved here, a neighbor plowed the field that had laid fallow for at least two decades.  After the initial deep plowing using a tractor, Jon has been using a rototiller to break up the clay and incorporate manure and compost.  The broadfork is the next best thing to tilling and aerating the soil because the tines are 12 inches long and can break up the soil deeper than the rototiller can.  We purchased the broadfork from Meadow Creature for $225.00.  Their broadforks are made with steel in the USA.

An area of green manure planted the previous fall.

An area where the green manure has been tilled under using the broad fork followed by the rototiller.  

The pictures below show how to use the broadfork.  

Contrary to what you may think, the broadfork isn't hard on the back.  I've had several instances in my life where I saw the chiropractor on a monthly basis due to back pain, but using the broadfork doesn't bother me at all. 

Even our 5.5 year old uses the broadfork and springs at the opportunity to use it!

This is what the row looks like after using the broadfork.


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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