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Monday, February 28, 2011

Time to Use the Broadfork


This weekend was unseasonably warm for late February in Ohio, but we weren't complaining.  We lost a few tree limbs in the ice storm a month or so ago, and we spent the day chopping those into brush and logs.  The logs, which are pine, I have plans to turn into my own DIY fatwood for the fireplace. 

And then Mr. FC&G discovered that the ground was just the right texture for using the new broadfork.  We tested it out when we ordered it in the fall, but now is definitely time to use it.  The soil is damp but not soggy and not frozen, and using the fork was a pretty pleasant experience (for the turn or two that I took -- I went inside to make dinner while the hubby got down to the serious business of preparing the soil for planting).  It made it easy to turn even stubborn, heavy Ohio clay.

I have to say, the soil looks beautiful, all dark and crumbly where the covering of fall leaves has decomposed and left us with a bumper crop of humus.  He was careful to work backwards down the rows so as not to step on and compact any of his hard work. 

The Analysis

Fast:  Mr. FC&G informs me that this is not a quick process.  However, he had forked several rows in the time it took me to get dinner, so it didn't seem too slow to me.

Cheap:  Definitely.  Once we bought the fork, there are no further investments.  No tiller rental, no gas, no oil.  I suppose we do have to count the calories needed to feed Mr. FC&G as he man-powers this tool.

Good:  We both feel so good about this low-cost way to break up the soil without disturbing the various soil strata unduly.  Our garden should be healthier every time we use it!
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