Win a copy of The Ethical Meat Handbook this week in the Food Choices forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Anne Miller
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin

Broadforks

 
gardener & author
Posts: 1213
Location: Tasmania
616
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The opinions on broadforks seem to be very divided, some people use them as an essential part of their gardening, others say they are overrated.

I think these opinions have a lot to do with the soil they're working with, and if there are any back problems to consider. I imagine that very stony soil would be tricky to use a broadfork with. For people who can use normal short-handled tools without back damage, they probably can't imagine just how good it is for someone that can't use normal forks to have a tool they can use without pain.

I like mine a lot. I chose a very strong one which looks similar to the Meadow Creature but is made closer to where I live. One day, I might get a 7 tine one for quickly working established beds, but for now I am working with compacted soil, and a smaller 5 tine broadfork is great for that.

I use mine for opening up my heavy and compacted soil to help roots go down, for loosening soil before digging a hole, and I can use it as a small-scale chisel plough to improve pasture and perennial plantings. It is an essential part of the way I homestead on this land.

What are your thoughts on broadforks? Do you use one? What do you use it for?
 
pollinator
Posts: 11694
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
901
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love mine.  Lately I have been using it to aerate my dad's lawn.
 
pollinator
Posts: 162
Location: Lasqueti Island, British Columbia
64
goat books chicken food preservation pig solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we use ours for, digging in general, we dig our root vegetables with them. We have 3 tine forks and some 5 tine forks. The 3 we use mostly in the garden to either turn soil over or to dig root vegetables out. The 5 tine one we use mostly for turning compost, cleaning the goat pens, shovelling sawdust/woodchips.


I would use a normal shovel for digging a hole for a tree, or to excavate a drain. somewhere where i need to move soil out of the spot i am digging in.
 
pollinator
Posts: 982
Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
250
hugelkultur forest garden trees chicken wofati earthworks building solar rocket stoves woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have one personally, like scythe it is just for folks with different soil and terrain.

However I love the idea. Both broadfork and scythe and great tools for the area they are usefully in.
 
pollinator
Posts: 639
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
162
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've had one for a couple of years and my experience has been mixed. It's been great for renovating existing beds that I haven't dug since forming them (and don't want to dig again, because I'm a no-dig kind of guy). But our land is rocky, a former river channel, with varying sizes of stones from gravel to 30 cm boulders at a range of depths from the surface to over 1m down. If one of the tines hits a decent-sized rock, it usually bends, and even if it doesn't it means that section won't get broken up effectively. I might weld some gusset plates into the curved part of the tines to stiffen them and see if this helps, or I may sell it on to someone with easier soils and get a model with stiffer tines.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11694
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
901
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mine also bent in our rocky soil.  If I ever get another, I will probably get a Meadow Creature, which seems to have reinforced, blade-like tines.
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 1213
Location: Tasmania
616
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is the kind that I use. Probably only available in Australia, but I can recommend it: https://www.fdryan.com/store/p69/broadfork.html

 
gardener
Posts: 1094
341
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That looks like it could actually be fun - if not for my land being almost entirely one, big rock. I think a smaller version might do better for me - is there such a thing?
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 1213
Location: Tasmania
616
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They are fun : )

I wonder if this one would work for you on any not-so-rocky bits Carla? It has shorter tines and width than the one I use: https://meadowcreature.com/collections/frontpage/products/peoples-broadfork-12

 
Carla Burke
gardener
Posts: 1094
341
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ooooooo! Definite possibilities, there!! Thank you!
 
Posts: 17
Location: Locust Grove, VA
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Way Cool Tools also make a range of "Unbreakable" broadforks in various sizes : https://waycooltools.com/t/broadforks

I have not purchased one yet but am trying to make up my mind which size to get...
 
pollinator
Posts: 229
Location: British Columbia
133
monies home care forest garden foraging chicken wood heat homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


This is the one I use from Jonny Seeds. I've used it mostly on established beds but I also used it to reseed a freshly created berm. I love it for prepping beds for root veggies!
 
Posts: 23
3
forest garden tiny house books
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love my Meadow Creature! We don't have rocks, but we do have roots that may as well be! I can use the broadfork to pull them up closer to the surface to get cut with a pruner or the grub hoe so they can get pulled out in pieces. Before the Creature we had to prep new planting areas with a pickaxe! This is much easier...and more fun
 
That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I think a piece of pie wouldn't kill me. Tiny ad:
All about the Daily-ish Email!
https://permies.com/wiki/135969/Daily-ish-Email
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!