Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Living in an Amish Paradise

Skeeter farms has a new baby.  It's actually a new Wheel Hoe, and, like a new baby, everyone instantly loves it, can't stop talking about it, and cannot imagine their lives before it. 

Weeding is possibly the most time intensive activity on the farm. It has usually included an upright hoe, or being down on your hands and knees pulling things out by hand and shuffling along the 100 foot rows.   The Wheel Hoe (yes, it deserves capitals) is about ten times as efficient. Ten. Times. As. Efficient.

"God Bless you Wheel Hoe" - Patrick Kitchen

The Wheel Hoe is made by Hoss, and it's crazy to imagine that everyone with a garden doesn't have one of these.  Interestingly, the Hoss website says that "In the 1910's, 20's, 30's, and 40's the wheel cultivator ruled the gardening world", but that they disappeared as people developed herbicides in the 50's.  Eliot Coleman, author of the New Organic Gardener, seems to be single-handedly bringing them back though, as every web reference to wheel hoe's seems to reference Coleman. 

What's great about the Wheel Hoe is that is greatly reduces labour, but not at the expense of the environment - as it burns no fuels.  It just uses simple mechanical principles and is made of long lasting materials that are easy to clean and repair.  In fact, the handles are made from "Amish-crafted #1 red oak". 

So, this little baby should make weeding out at Skeeter Farms a lot more enjoyable and fast, leaving more time for other important things, like harvesting - which is coming up soon!


PS:  "Amish-crafted #1 red oak" made me think of the Wierd Al song 'Living in an Amish paradise' (set to Coolio's 'Gansta's Paradise'). So, just for fun, here are the Amish Paradise lyrics. I don't recommend trying to read them at work, as I did, because they are pretty funny and you might spit out your coffee (as I did).  

As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain
I take a look at my wife and realize she's very plain
But that's just perfect for an Amish like me
You know I shun fancy things like electricity

At 4:30 in the mornin' I'm milking cows
Jedediah feeds the chickens and Jacob plows, fool
And I've been milking and plowing so long that
Even Ezekial thinks that my mind is gone

I'm a man of the land, I'm into discipline
Got a bible in my hand and a beard on my chin
But if I finish all of my chores, and you finish thine
Then tonight we're going to party like it's 1699

We've been spending most our lives living in an Amish paradise
I churn butter once or twice, living in an Amish paradise
It's hard work and sacrifice, living in an Amish paradise
We sell quilts at discount price, living in an Amish paradise

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