[Market-farming] the best bed shaper

Allan Balliett igg at igg.com
Tue Feb 22 21:58:25 EST 2005

>Allan, can you be more specific on how things have gotten better?

Wow, man, how come you had to go and ask me THAT?

I used to run a spader down the bed, and then edge the bed a foot 
deep, with a Chadwick spade, down both sides, flipping the BIG divots 
into the middle of the bed, and then run the BCS down the bad in each 
direction. Sometimes those beds 'made' beautifully, but, gosh, that's 
a lot of lifting and trying to control a big tiller down a bed of 
divots without stepping on the bed was often more than TWO people 
could handle. (And, after the first time you grab the muffler instead 
of the frame, well, your days of being a useful tiller muscler are 
pretty much over (due to fear, not burns)) Now, I run a 
tractor-mounted tiller down the bed once (or twice) and then follow 
that with the bed shaper. If everything goes right, I've made a new 
bed in just a few minutes. And my back doesn't hurt and I'm not 
pretty close to being exhausted.

As far as your other questions, the best answer to each of them is 
'it depends.'

As far as 'why raised beds,' well, I can say that if you don't want 
plastic on your farm, you probably have the temperment to value 
raised beds. Aside from that, raised beds bring qualities to the soil 
and produce that are never discussed on this list and I'm not about 
to bring them up this late in the starting season. Suffice it to say, 
if you haven't read Jeavons or Coleman, you are bloody well ready to 
do so! -Allan (Hey, my soil shows up on the soil map as SILT LOAM, 
also!! Didn't tell me much about what lies about 2inches under all 
that SILT LOAM, though! )

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