Hello Owen, thank you very much for the PDF on the Magoye Ripper. I like some of the great advantages such as no fuel required, no C02 emissions, simple design and likely an affordable tool for many small farmers. But an Oxen...what's our best 2nd option? Do you have any idea if the Ripper is sold in North or South America? Can the Ripper Tine be replaced with a Yeomans Chisel plough because it appears, but I don't know for sure, that the chisel is more narrow than the tine, and does that make a difference? The Ripper recommends using it on dry land where as PA Yeomans, recommends using the chisel plough after the 1st or 2nd rainfall or after the rain season. Any thoughts on that? I am told by some of the older Barbadian famers that they use to use the Strip farm method. I wonder if it was similar to the Magoye Ripper tool, but regardless, they stopped the strip method years ago to their own detriment I suppose. Barbados is mostly limestone and my research has shown only 2% organic matter, so you can imagine how important the task to build soil fertility will be. We will soon have a topographical survey available of the 15 acres of basically flat land, but still Yeomans basic rules still apply. I have attached a map of Graeme Hall where CPRI will have it's demonstration site. The 15 acres are located in the middle portion, lower mid section of the map. I think that entire section has 30 acres though. Would be great if I could attend your Keyline class to learn more about keyline farming because I will need to sharpen my skills in this area. My location is currently Van. BC. Barbados only happens in about 2 months. And yes, we will stay in touch for sure because we would love to have you be a guest teacher on the subject. Thank you and best regards!
Thanks for the further info and questions... Nice map of the project. Looks like you will be at a good phase in the project to be thinking through the design, and you are right that the keyline principles and design process will give great value at this stage.
At this point I don't know much more about the Magoye ripper than was in the pdf, as I've not actually worked with that tool (probably there is much more to find about it with some web research). Do think that it would have good potential though to at least mimic what is possible with the yeomans plow in places where it is too difficult or impossible to get a yeomans and tractor, etc, out to. Possibly mules, burros, or horses would be adaptable if no oxen are around? My thought is that it may take some experimenting but that if we can adapt a ripper shank to the Magoye model, and use it on the keyline pattern, this could be an innovation that could take keyline ripping to the vast majority of the world that can't really access it at this time! How amazing would that be!? Perhaps we could work on developing this idea and practice through your project! A big deal!
As for the timing, Yeomans did recommend plowing after a little rain, but always said the next best time to do it is 'right now' - or as soon as you can... so the precise timing is not generally that critical. One exception is when the ground is too wet, particularly in clay subsoils, where ripping can 'slick - off' and seal the sides of the riplines, which inhibits rooting, etc...
Thanks for keeping the project going, for your enthusiasm, and commitment to the project!
Whole Systems Design, Consultation, Education, Group Facilitation