Making Wheel Hoes

Everyone asks us what we do in the winter…One of our January tasks is to make wheel hoes to take to the Guelph Organic Conference to sell at our booth where we advertise our Apprenticeship program and our Draft Horse Workshops.

Ken was inspired to build his first stirrup wheel hoe after hearing Eric Eberhardt give a talk about how he cultivated his rather large garden with such a wheel hoe. When that first stirrup wheel hoe proved to be such an effective and easy to use weeder in our own CSA garden Ken decided other people might be interested to purchase a similar tool. The wooden parts are harvested from ash trees in our family woodlot. Ash is very strong, but springy hardwood that has been traditionally used for handles. The wheel employed is a bicycle wheel. The large wheel rolls easily and no tire and tube are needed, because there is no significant load to carry and pneumatic tires eventually go flat and need repairs. Most of our horse equipment rolls along fine on steel wheels. The stirrup is constructed from recycled band sawmill blades and makes a very tough but thin weeding blade. Painting is such an environmentally unfriendly process that we have opted to give the whole machine a coat of boiled linseed oil made from flaxseed to protect the steel and wood.

Checking Seed Order

Another January job is to map out the garden and order seeds. Some of you may remember the picture a year ago of Caesar as a puppy sitting on my lap while we ordered seeds. This year he was too big to sit on my lap, but he still helped.