We began by growing vegetables in a garden. We are expanding operations up to 8 acres of small farm tillage. So, we are undergoing a transition on our way from being home gardeners to market gardeners and onward to farmers. We started with a few tools like a rake, hoe and garden hose. Since then, we have added a few labor-saving tools. For primary tillage, we hire out to someone with a large tractor and the equipment to do the plowing and roto-tilling.
For some needs, we were able to buy used machinery to help on the budget. In fact, we got vintage machinery. The main work-horse is a 1951 Ferguson TO-20 and the other tractor is a 1950 Farmall Cub. The manure spreader is a ground-driven New Idea Model 12-A. These old machines work fine and when they don’t all the parts to keep them going are still available. This harvest season we plan to take photographs of these vintage machines in action.
One notable piece of equipment that we use on the farm is more modern. Our computer allows us to communicate with other farmers and customers via email, do farm-related research on the world-wide-web, maintain a website and web log and attend farming webinars. We also use the computer for accounting and to create business cards, newsletters, forms, reports and sales brochures. It is a very versatile tool.
What are the tools of our trade? We garden with “human-powered” tools. We sell with marketing equipment. And, we also farm with some mechanization. However, the most versatile tool remains as always to be our own hands. Our goal is use the most practical equipment available to us and to remain debt-free.
|Planting||Various 5-Gal. and 10-Gal. stainless steel cans to pre-soaked garlic seed cloves|
|Direct Seeding||Earthway hand Seeder — 7lb capacity|
|Fertilizing||Chapin 4-Gal. backpack sprayer, plastic water cans|
|Cultivation||5″ stirrup Hoe, Earthway high wheel cultivator|
|Harvesting||Johnny’s 920 broadfork, various buckets and baskets|
|Post-harvest Handling||Vermont large garden cart, ARS Trimming Shears|
|Post-harvest Weighing||(2) Hobart hanging scales, 1 bale (500) mesh onion bags — 12.5” by 18.5”|
|Direct Marketing||Citizen Scales CTP-60 scale, E-Z Up Instant Shelter Canopy, Vermont large garden cart with home-made plywood top makes a stable platform for scales, Home-made display rack with three bushel baskets, re-used wooden cheese boxes|
|Delivery||King American enclosed trailer — 6’x12’ single axle pulled by 2003 Toyota 4Runner|
|1951 Ferguson TO-20||box scraper, 6’ Stone Rake, back blade, dump scoop, finish mower, 1X potato plow, tire chains|
|1950 Farmall Cub||International 1x 1pt plow cub, International 4′ 1pt disc, fast hitch assembly, 5’ woods mower|
|New Idea Model 12-A Manure Spreader|
|Harvest Cart (4’ x 8’)||removal side racks and tail gate|