[Market-farming] European Seeder-good investment?

Glen Eco Farm glenecofarm at planetcomm.net
Wed Dec 19 18:37:21 EST 2007

I did a fairly detailed writeup about my European push seeder on the MF list
sometime back in the summer.  You should be able to dig it out of the
archives.  It is 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 stony and cloddy soil.  The seed plates, when needing to
be changed, are no more difficult to change than those on the Earthway and
if you are only changing to a slightly smaller or larger seed you may only
need to spin the externally mounted plate to the correct sized 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 those using an Earthway.  This is easily handled
in the European seeder by adjusting the hole size.  I have successfully
sowed small seeds like lettuce, carrots, and kale but was dissappointed with
the way it seeded sweet corn and I am still not sure about its performance
with swiss chard and beets.  My impressions are that it does best with
smooth surfaced and evenly rounded seeds like peas and okra, and worst with
irregularly shaped and surfaced seeds like corn and beets.  These things
tend to clump together as the rotating brushes move them up the side of the
hopper towards the discharge hole and then release irregularly, causing
skipped spaces several feet in distance within the row and piles of seed in
one spot.  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 rechargable hand vacuum (similar to those used to clean up
car interiors) to take to the field for sucking remaining seed from the seed
hopper when you are changing seed types or varieties.  Mine works well but
it is another $35-$50 investment.

Hope this is helpful.

Marlin Burkholder

Found posted on the bulletin board of a doctor's office waiting room:
The secret ingredients in "Viagra"
    *Aspirin 20%
    *Beano 20%
    *Fix a Flat" 60%

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