[Market-farming] Broadforks

Richard Robinson rrobinson at nasw.org
Fri Dec 28 10:53:53 EST 2012

On 12/28/2012 at 10:41:09 AM, Pam Twin Oaks wrote:
> I want to buy a broadfork, primarily for loosening beds in the hoophouse,
> where we don't till. I want a strong one that will do the job, preferably
> cover a 48" bed top in two passes, and be manageable for normal farmers
> (rather than 6'+ bodybuilders). What does anyone recommend? Ash handles or
> steel? Curved round-section tines or wedge-shaped plate tines?

I have the Johnny's 27" fork, which is great for doing a whole (30") bed at once. But the tines are not reinforced (compare Valley Oak), which means they are prone to bending in rocky soils if you aren't careful. On the other hand, my slightly non-parallel row of tines still does the job. The hardest part of using a broadfork is getting the tines into the soil, no matter the soil type. So you might consider that in the mix. I don't know which tine shape is best for that. The second hardest (and overall most tiring) part is lifting the fork to place it in a new spot. For hoophouse beds that have been worked and reworked, I'd recommend going for light weight versus extra strength.

  Richard Robinson
  Hopestill Farm

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