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Re: garden tractor

  • Subject: Re: [cg] garden tractor
  • From: Steve Diver steved@ncat.org
  • Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 11:17:30 -0600

Hello Fred -

It sounds like the tractor and matching equipment is a
good way to go.

The tractor will allow you to efficiently work up the soil
for garden preparation in the small windows of time that
weather is appropriate.
I can suggest that you look into a mini chisel plow for ripping
(also called a field cultivator, a toolbar with shanks and
narrow shovels), followed by a PTO roto-tiller for secondary
tillage and seedbed preparation. A spading machine is preferred
over a roto-tiller by many market farmers, but they are more
The other very important aspect of community gardens is
maintenance of lawn areas, surrounding fields, and roadside
ditches and pathways. That's where your belly mower
and trailer will come into handy. The better the cg looks,
the more appealing.... the more people come in and
walk around, visit with neighbors, and experience the
bounty and beauty of the gardens.

A bucket on the front end of the tractor will come
in handy for moving around volumes of wood chips
for pathways.


Steve Diver
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fred Conrad wrote:

say, i've been lurking on the list without posting lately (three or four years, maybe), i don't know why. maybe it's just a phase i'm going through. i used to post, then i got all distracted with plant-a-row-for-the-hungry campaigns and youth gardens and organic certification and getting remarried yet again. then other times i start to respond and second guess the value of my input. i think the common perception among the public is that community gardeners have it all under control, but sometimes it's like Mitch Snyder.
forgive the rant.

the reason i'm writing... my program supports autonomous community and social service agency gardens and i've accumulated some decent equipment over the years... five rototillers, a large trailer to haul equipment, etc etc. i'm now looking at a handfull of gardens where productivity could be greatly enhanced - without increasing labor inputs - if i had equipment that could work bigger and faster. that is to say that i'm looking at some pasture, some bottom land, an old American Negro League baseball field, a 4-H camp, a community garden in southwest where the city tragically fenced in an area five times bigger than the garden and left the poor elderly folks sitting there with handtrowels and a glazed look. And i'm thinking what can i do with my weed-eater and rototiller?

looking around i can't make a clear determination about what that bigger and faster machine is. a two wheel garden tractor with several implements? a riding tractor with a moldboard plow and belly mower? i'm looking at maybe $5k max and hopefull not more than half a ton total. i know there are some large land-tract community gardens out there, having seen a few at various ACGA conferences over the past ten years, so i'm asking what you/they're using and what you would get if you were starting anew. i've got a tracking cart that would be easier to use with a four-wheel tractor but they break down more often than two-wheel... how do you decide when you're feeling indecisive in general? John Lennon said 'there are no problems, only solutions,' so i guess i'm generating my own quagmire of doubt here.

thanks, and sorry for the long post.

Fred Conrad
Community Garden Coordinator
Atlanta Community Food Bank
732 Joseph E Lowery Blvd, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
ph: 678.553.5932 fx: 678.553.5933
fred.conrad@acfb.org <http://www.acfb.org> Our mission is to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community.

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