Sunday, April 5, 2009


Today was a day I spent at a friend's farm out in the county where we learned to make a broadfork (or U-bar), and I actually left with one a hell of a lot beefier than the one pictured to the right. Altogether, my measures over six feet high. I t will be a great tool to work my garden and offers incredible leverage. It was also fun to work with all sorts of power tools like grinders and saws and pipe benders, and helping (by watching) the welding. I like days like today.

But the best thing about this tool is the fact that it doesn't disrupt soil strata, it only aerates it. Evidently, different levels of soil have different biological make-up that takes months or even years to re-establish itself once disrupted through tilling. The broadfork does a much more efficient job of maintaining soil structure while loosening it.

So this will be a big help in taking up my front yard, even though it was suggested that I keep the grass and cover it with straw or another form of sheet mulching versus disturbing the microbes by taking out the grass. But I want it to stay somewhat orderly, so taking the grass out will lower the soil level a few inches versus spilling over onto the sidewalk. I am sure you will here more about this endeavor. I hopefully I will get a group picture of all of us with our broadforks at this fun, fun workshop on a sunny and warm spring day in Bellingham.

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