[Market-farming] Harvesting equipment

Glen Eco Farm glenecofarm at planetcomm.net
Tue Dec 18 19:01:38 EST 2007

I did a fairly detailed write up about my European push seeder on this list back sometime in the summer.  You should be able to dig it out of the archives.  It's not a perfect tool but with a few adjustments I can get along with it. 


The best thing I like about it is the more sturdy construction and stability when working in my stoney and cloddy soil.  The seed plates, when needing to be changed, are no more difficult to do than those on an Earthway and if you are only changing to a slightly larger or smaller seed you may only need to spin the externally mounted plate to a larger or smaller hole, much easier.  And you don't have the aggravation of plastic plates flexing and jamming seed under the plate and then popping them to who knows where.  Sometimes seed size variations in radish, spinach, or some bean varieties can make life difficult for using the Earthway.  This is easily handled in the European by adjusting hole size.  I have sowed small seeded things like lettuce, carrots, and kale successfully but I was dissappointed that it wouldn't do a decent job on sweet corn, and I'm still not sure about swiss chard and beets.  My impressions are that it does best with smooth evenly rounded seeds like peas and okra and worst with irregular shaped and surfaced seeds like corn and beets.  These things tend to clump together as the rotating brushes move them up the sloping side of the hopper towards the discharge hole and then release irregularly.  I think a redesign of the machine with the discharge hole closer to the bottom of the seed hopper would improve on this problem.


Another thing I found to be essential for using the European seeder is to have a cordless rechargeable hand vacuum to take along to the field to use for sucking remaining seed out of the seed hopper when you are changing seed types or varieties.  Mine works well but it is another $35-$50 dollar investment.


Hope this is helpful.


Marlin Burkholder



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