At the first SAGE open day we were fortunate to have a demonstration of the use of hand tools for managing a commercial organic vegetable garden.
The first tool shown was a
The tool at the centre of the image is the broadfork and it is used for even initial bed cultivation. It consists of 7 tempered steel tines fixed through a square steel tube frame. The handle is also made of square steel tubing.
The tines penetrate the soil as you stand on the cross piece. You then pull the handle back towards you which shatters the compacted ground, and the fork is then pulled back along the ground (not lifted) about 30cm before the procedure is repeated. The first cultivation of these 8 metre long beds took about 15 minutes. This tool can be used to determine the width of garden beds — in this case about 70cm.