Small Farm Tools


You can get pretty far with a shovel, rake, and pitchfork but specialized tools make a huge difference. I was so happy when small companies and other farmers started coming up with their own ideas and making new tools for smaller scale farming.


Small scale farm tools have come a long way thanks to Johnny's Seeds and JM Fortier leading the way. They are still really expensive to purchase and it's hard to tell what you need since nobody in the area has it and you can't go check it out. I've wasted a ton of money on seeders and other tools that I didn't end up liking. Or didn't buy tools because I didn't know if it would be helpful to our operation. Part of the bummer of living in the city where agriculture isn't that common is the lack of access to farm specific tools.


We did have a little Kubota tractor in the beginning. I bought it used from Charlie Moore over at Gladys Ave Urban Farm. I went early one morning and drove it from his farm to ours. I surprised a lot of people rolling down the street on a little tractor. I bet one of those boys I waved at still talks about it. The look on his face was priceless. The Kubota was great for moving soil and mulch around but it didn't have any attachments that were useful to us farming. I looked into purchasing some different implements but it just didn't make financial sense. Larry Rich let me store it in his shipping container so it didn't get stolen. I would wear little Nalu in his sling with ear protectors on and he would sleep all day just rocking back and forth on the tractor. I remember I zip-tied a beach umbrella to the frame for a little shade. Seems like a million years ago.


In Northern California, small scale farmers have come together to build a tool library where they share in the cost and maintenance of expensive items. The BCS walk-behind tractor is a huge cost for a small scale farmer. We finally purchased one a few years ago but if I had gotten an opportunity to try it out I would have gotten a different model and for sure got the electric start. Whoops. I can assume that a tool share is great except when the seasons change and everyone needs the equipment at the same time.


What's your favorite tool? Am I missing any on our chart?

-Sasha


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