FarmHack Tools: Earthway Seeder modification

This project comes from:

Chris who runs a wonderful and informative blog

http://wannafarm.com/

Who the project is for:

Vegetable and/or Flower Growers, Small Scale Farmers

Range of how much it might cost to build:

$90 for the Earthway (only if you don’t have one already) and the cost of the quick adjustment is cheap, most likely under $10


What skills are necessary to complete it:

Just about anyone can do it. You may need to introduce yourself to a saw or drill if you haven’t before, but otherwise it’s a very accessible project.

Summary of the project:

The Earthway seeder is a great tools considering it costs only around $90, and allows you to seed a huge variety of seed types and sizes.  But sometimes when using small round seeds, like arugula, the seeds work their way behind the seed plate, which can begin to pulverize the seed, and keep the seed plate from rotating properly.  This modification helps with that.

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Precision Tine Cultivator

Project is for: Farmers who need a flexible, multi-purpose, cultivating tool–  most likely vegetable farmers.
Range of cost: $750 – $1500

Skills needed: Simple metalworking (welding steel, or finding someone who can);  also available commercially with an Allis G belly mount from Roeter’s Farm Equipment, but their version may not be optimized for your application.

Summary: Tine weeders, like those built by Lely or Kovar, are often used on vegetable farms for cultivation of transplanted crops or sturdy direct seeded crops like corn and beans.  Usually they are used “blind” (see video), raked over a crop while being pulled behind a tractor, and therefore their use is limited to those crops that can tolerate the “raking” action of the thin, flexible tines, spaced 1.5″ apart.

This project creates a version of the tine weeder that can be belly-mounted to a cultivating tractor, so that individual tines can be lifted up so as not to engage the soil.  This allows the tool to be used in between rows of crops that cannot stand the raking, such as just-germinated small seeded crops like carrots, beets and greens.

This is a good tool for a smaller farm that cannot afford many different types of cultivators;  it can be used for many different crops, however by itself it is not an ideal cultivator for all crops, since it is not aggressive enough to kill more tenuous weeds such as perennial grasses, velvetleaf, bindweed, or weeds that have established beyond a “white thread” stage.  Horsepower requirements are very low.

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