Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hi There

It's been a long time since I have posted anything here, and I would like to thank you for making that happen. You see, if I am busy making broadforks, I have no time to do this.

In fact, I have been very busy making broadforks, and I would like to thank all of you that have put me in that very enviable situation in recent months. I have even sent a couple of broadforks to Fairbanks, Alaska this spring. When I started this little business, I never would have thought I would be shipping broadforks to the permafrost zone, but I did.

A wonderful customer in California sent me a picture of a garden 'bed' he did with his broadfork this year.
Tom told me that he never even cranked his rototiller this year; he did it all with the broadfork he got last year. He also said that he would never have to use the rototiller in any of those beds again.

That's heavy stuff to me; I have created a business that provides an implement that allows people to step back from the use of fossil fuels to do the 'heavy lifting' in their gardens. Because of my broadfork, there is one less rototiller running in California this year!

Tom, I have to say that your email and photos have made me know that I am doing the right thing. Thank you for turning the lights on for me.

I am an Alabama native, and lived my first 42 years there. The Gulf of Mexico was in my backyard, and I loved visiting that coast.

The point of this blog was to inform people about the utility of the broadfork and give some insight into the man that makes them. I never wanted to be political, or controversial. I must say, however, that the disaster that has occurred with the deep water drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico has made me feel that any time I can steer someone away from the use of fossil fuels to good old fashioned hand labor, I have done a good thing. The reason you are reading this is that you believe the same thing that I do.

We need to lessen our need to use petroleum products. The low hanging fruit has all been picked, and the rest of the crude oil that is available is in the inhospitable places where it is probably best to just leave it alone.

Step by step we can lessen our need, and step by step we should.

The news from my beloved Gulf is dark. It has a deep effect on all of us, and should. We are all responsible for the need to stretch our luck in the drive to fill our need and desire for the most dense form of energy the world has ever known.

By picking up your broadfork and using it in your garden, you have made a choice to lessen your impact on this ever more vulnerable planet. The impact of your actions will be felt by future generations, perhaps even your own children, as you teach them the importance of doing the right thing, right now.

We all weep for the environmental maelstrom in our Southern Coastal Waters. We can begin to repair the damage when begin to lessen our need for fossil fuels.

It's time to take that step.

Press that broadfork into your soil again and again. Get in touch with the way your body works with a good hand tool and let that be enough. Put matters in your own hands and become the difference you want to see in the world.

Good soil to you,



  1. So glad you are back! We have also been busy moving & with work & we think about getting a broadfork every time we pass through Black Earth. We too are deeply saddened by what is happening in the gulf. Next spring we will be eliminating the use of fossil fuels in our garden too. This year we let our neighbor come over with his tractor, but not again. (He is rather insistant, loves to use his tractor). I don't care how little time we have to manage the garden, no more fossil fuels. I want to be sending you a similar picture of our garden next year. :-). Hope all is well. Consider this an order for one broadfork & will talk about when we can stop by to pick it up.

  2. Hey Barb and Steve,
    Just give me a day or two notice to make sure I'm here and I'll have a fork ready for you to pick up. Thanks!

    I have a customer in Ft Collins, CO that is in pretty high production, and he sent me a note a couple of weeks ago, " I am happy to report that after 5000 feet of broadforking the fork has held up well and my biceps are well worked."

    Here's a quote from an article about him: "Michael also works his land extensively by hand to reduce fossil-fuel use and utilizes drip irrigation to minimize water use. He has moved away from the practice of heavy mechanical tilling to using a broadfork by hand, which opens up the soil without destroying its structure. Anthony has about one acre in production but has room to expand." Link to full article here:

    Mike is living proof that it can be done, and is the lead in the "Broadfork Distance Championship." When I get t-shirts printed, I'm sending him the first one.

    I am building my new timberframe broadfork shop this weekend, then next week I will be in Michigan for the MidWest Ox Drovers Gathering at Tillers International, learning more about how to farm bigger areas and use less fuel. I also help out in the blacksmith shop making ox yoke hardware. Here's a link to the class this year:

    Stay tuned for pictures and stories from those events real soon.