The Broad Fork
Spring is coming ….. Who needs a rototiller!? Time to tune up your U-bar !
The U-bar (or broad fork, as it is sometimes called) has been used in Europe for centuries. Not a common tool in the US, though every gardener wants one. A U-bar is similar to a spading fork, but rather than turning the soil, it aerates down 10″ to 20″ without mixing the soil strata, maintaining soil health and life force. Producing a deeply aerated planting bed while combing the weed roots intact to the top where they can be raked off. Long handles provide extraordinary leverage, allowing a person of average strength to loosen large areas in a fraction of the time and effort it would take with a conventional fork. Versions on the market are prone to breaking, I will help you build a stronger one.
Using mostly recycled steel pipes and bar stock, we can custom build one of these wonderful U-bar forks specifically suited for you for $235. Contact us for more information.
Check out David’s article on Transition Whatcom Site
|If you want to build your own, I have plans available for a donation of $10 Just click the paypal button below and I will email you the plans.|
Choosing A U-Bar Digger:
This tool is far superior to the spading fork for loosening up soil in a garden bed. It is not as effective in soils with lots of rocks, but in a loamy or light soil, it is a dream to operate.
Design- The “U-Bar” is a spading fork on steroids. It can have from 5 to 8 tines as long as 10 to 20 inches. Most U-bars have leverage at the back of the bar holding the tines.
Comfort and Technique – The U-bar digger is a stand up type of tool. Holding the tool in almost a vertical position, you dance on it sinking the tines into the soil. Then you back up a step and pull the handles towards you. Causing it to leverage up the soil. The motion makes for an almost effortless soil loosening. Your back is spared virtually any stress at all, yet the soil is loosened thoroughly. Pull up the U-bar and move it a few inches ahead and repeat the process. Once you get a rhythm you can loosened a 100 square feet of garden bed in a matter of minutes all with low stress!
See it in Action