Sep 272011

Valley Oak wheel hoe

The Valley Oak wheel hoe is a fine one! I’ve owned one, a rubber wheel model, for around five seasons, haven’t broken the original blade, or anything else! From the company site: “This high-quality wheel hoe is designed and manufactured by an organic vegetable farmer who knows what it takes for a tool to provide years of service. You can also use this valuable tool for making furrows or loosening compacted soils. Built to last for decades of hard use. Tempered spring steel blade available in 7 sizes from 5″ to 18″ blade. New cam lever adjusts handle height quickly—no tools needed. 1-year money-back guarantee.” With metal or rubber wheel: $265 US.

Web: Valley Oak Tool Company
Availability: order direct
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Jan 282008

Glaser wheel hoes

Wheel hoes are excellent! I started using one last season, though I’d been reading about them for a while—what took me so long?! They cut major time from straight cultivating, weeding between-row and paths where you’d usually use some type of hand hoe. Mine is from Valley Oak, and I’m absolutely happy with it. I use the standard 8″ blade, and that’s it. I haven’t tried the Glaser wheel hoes, but they’re no doubt fine as well. They come with a five implement attachments, including blades in various widths, a hiller/furrower, and a 3-tine cultivator. There’s a two-wheel/two-blade attachment for the heavier pro model that allows straddling a row. The handles can be offset for working from the side.

The three models of wheel hoe are No. 500 (the Berg), 600, and 700.

Dec 052007

BCS 948 walking tractor

At double the price of the Troy-Bilt “Big Red” Horse, the top-of-the-line professional series BCS 948 walking tractor is quite the market garden machine. I haven’t tried or even seen one of these, but I’d love to. BCS is the biggest of the European 2-wheel tractor manufacturers. They have a full line, including a Horse equivalent. The walking tractor is an order above the North American big rototiller, they’re built as full-on agricultural equipment. The 948 is a true small-scale tractor, the difference found in the engineering, construction, and range of add-on implements. On this tiny farm, the Horse and the Kubota compact tractor cover the BCS from either side, to get an even wider range of smaller to larger jobs done, but the 948 could replace both for all of the most critical market gardening tasks, like tilling, cultivating and clean-up for several acres.