Mike (tfb)

Nov 162007

Build-it-yourself peat/soil pot maker

You’ll find building instructions and usage advice for this peat moss/soil block maker gardeninggrapevine.com, an interesting site full of gardening tips and tricks. Seems like a simple enough way to try soil blocks, without investing in a commercial block maker. And there’s more DIY block-making info, with diagrams and photos, at Okay.. How to make your soil block makers…

Nov 102007

Newer Spreader for manure

The Newer Spreader is a small manure spreader that can be drawn by a compact tractor or riding mower. These small spreaders seem to be aimed primarily at the horse farm market, where the volume of manure is lower than with, say, beef or dairy cattle. On the small farm, they look good for spreading smaller areas, particularly if you don’t use the big tractor gear required for the larger spreaders. They’re ground-driven, which means the spreading action is determined by the speed at which the wheels turn as they’re being pulled (larger spreaders are usually PTO-driven, connected directly to the engine, and the spreading action is not determined by tractor movement). I haven’t tried one yet, but this class of spreaders looks promising.

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Nov 072007

Harvest cart in action

A great little fabrication project, this simple cart is a serious time- and back-saver for harvesting low-growing greens like mesclun and spinach. Check out the details and the construction plans. To try it with the materials at hand, we built something similar, with wider wheels and a board for a seat, but the same three-wheel design. It’s used for cutting 50’x1.5′ beds of mesclun and spinach, and it’s FANTASTIC, particularly great for saving your back. A new one built closer to spec is planned!

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Nov 072007

Thilot Holland HZ423 seeder

From the Netherlands, the Thilot Holland HZ423 seeder looks like a cross between the EarthWay and the old Planet Jr. Seed drops through an aperture in a seed plate, like the Planet Jr. (and unlike the EarthWay, which relies on a revolving vertical plate to carry seed up and into a chute—much less reliable). A couple of features mentioned in the literature sound interesting: a seed brush in the hopper which it seems is to keep seed loose and well-separated, and an adjustable control for step-seeding, which can leave up to 20cm (7.8″) between drops (that’s interesting, wonder how it works). The price tag is fairly steep: €686 from the manufacturer in the Netherlands.