Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Equipment Category › Equipment Fabrication › Multi-Row Bed Cultivator
- April 29, 2014 at 7:53 pm #83200
I am wondering where to point myself in the search for a multiple row cultivator for horsepower. I have seen photos of a Halflinger sized implement where the horses travel the width of the bed apart from each other and multiple tines/sweeps cultivated the planted rows. Similar to a straddle row – but opposite… When I asked after the implement in the photo, they suggested that it was a custom fabrication.
36″ on center, is all well and good but I have EXTREMELY limited cultivate-able space on my site and would seriously want to be using multi-row bed systems. Also, the farm I am currently working on uses a lot of multi-row systems and that is the only niche that I haven’t figured how to use the horses in. So we are stuck with primary tillage and single row cultivation only…April 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm #83201
I&J Machinery has multirow cultivators. http://www.farmingwithhorses.com/horse-drawn-farming-cultivators. There are a few other companies that make them too, if you can get a copy of a Horse Progress Days Book you may find a couple more companies that make them.April 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm #83202
I am not sure I did justice to my own description… Or I am not able to navigate the I&J site so well…
The tool I am imagining has the horses traveling the width of the row apart, aprx 60″. Is this something that I&J would custom fabricate? Basically I guess they would just put a 60″ neck yoke and evener on the 2 row cultivator body with a custom set up for sweeps for rows that are aprx 6″ apart…May 1, 2014 at 4:38 am #83204
Michelle, I also us multi- row systems, and have found it difficult to use a team for cultivation after I make the rows. I use my two row cultivator to make wide raised beds, but after planting they are too wide to accommodate the team on a normal width evener, and the two row is also too narrow.
I have never seen an implement like you describe. I don’t cover as much ground as many, but have found single row cultivators to work great….. But that obviously leaves the weeding and cultivating within the bed to hand methods. It would be interesting to see the picture you are referring to.
There was that rig the Jelmer used to cultivate multiple rows, but was also drawn by a single….. I think. But it seemed to be very adjustable to a variety of applications.
CarlMay 1, 2014 at 6:17 am #83208
Any chance of posting a picture of the machine you´re describing?
A while ago I placed 2 PDF files of 2 simular machines you described. Apart from having a different colour it can do what you mentioned and fits in small scale efficient farm methods. Those files describe the machines or “tool carriers”.
Click on the link here and look for the post on January 30th 2014.
Underneath that post there, you´ll find a very informative post of Erica showing PDF-files with products and prices for mechanical weed control. Those products can be very helpfull to built on such “tool carriers”.May 1, 2014 at 6:38 pm #83220
The original photo inspiration was seen on Facebook and I believe posted by the Biodynamic Association. It was of a Halflinger team and I believe the farm was in CA. I corresponded with them briefly, so I feel this isn’t a total wild goose chase. I posted a request to the Biodynamic Assc. page with my email, so we’ll see if anything comes from that.
I feel the implement Jelmer posted COULD do this job. Maybe the one I saw was using a team because they were smaller horses.
Well, anyway… Somebody SHOULD make one. We have single row cultivators and there is no worry about hand weeding, essentially the tool currently doing the job I am describing is a TuffBilt with a 60″ wheel base and adjustable S-tine placement. So sometimes it marks out planting furrows and later it cultivates the space between. I am trying to put the TuffBilt out of work…May 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm #83223
I understand better now. There was an article in the SFJ around 1999 about a man that grew horse powered vegetables in Argyle, NY (Seth Jacobs, Slack Hollow Farm). He used a 4 wheel 3pt hitch cart on beds of vegetables with multiple rows in the beds. The horses walked in the wheel tracks on what ever centers the beds were and he used a jockey stick on halters to keep them spread apart. There were pictures and descriptions of this rig in the SFJ. He has long since given up horses for a Kubota and ford 1710. I may know where the cart is now, but I would have to stop by to take pictures and I won’t be in that area for a while. I know that he used a lely tine weeder and some other cultivating devices on the cart. It may be worth looking up that old issue for some ideas.May 4, 2014 at 3:51 am #83230
Interesting, I know that the biodynamic Pfeiffer Centre in Chestnut Ridge NY uses Haflingers. They work with them in the raised bed culture.
For as far as I know, Mac Mead made this machine himself. It looks like the descriptions you mentioned.
In the picture it shows the wider joysticks and evener needed like Erika mentions.
I agree such an implement or rig is an missing link.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.May 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm #83245
OH, hey… that’s the photo! I did finally figure out that it was the Pfeiffer Center and sent them an email. I haven’t heard back, so I didn’t update the post. Hopefully I can talk more with Mac and start to get my head around this implement and how I would use Belgian horses on it… Or maybe it would only take one. I have also thought about ordering just parts for Tuffbilt front mounting system and modifying for foot pedal steering and the hydraulic lift.May 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm #83246
I guess I sorta exaggerated the part about it being used for multi-row bed cultivation, but clearly someone more competent at fabrication could see the relationship… That SFJ article will be important in clarifying my ideas about this… ==
May 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm #83262
- This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by KMichelle.
Good to hear you found the machine and this is the same one.
Belgian horses would pull this implement easily.
By using two horses, they could walk on the path next to the bed, without walking op the place where the crops come. That is in my opinion an advantage over using one horse.
Best.May 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm #83263
I concur with Erika on the excellence of the Mc-D new 4 cultivator but 36″ is the narrowest setting for the wheel base—and with Jelmer on the scarcity of multi-row bed systems cultivators as presenting an obstacle to organic produce growers who are attracted to horse power but want something comparable to a garden tractor with belly-mount hydraulic tool bar.
With a walk-behind cultivator (in not too rocky soil) you can cultivate as narrow as 28″ with a single horse.
At this point we use the McCormick riding cultivator for a 4 acre garden—one acre annually in Nordell-style cover crop/bare fallow, a 1/2 acre on mulch and drip, and the balance on 36″ (or wider for some crops) row spacing. Of course, with wider row spacing you can also experiment with inter-cropping short season with long season crops—like greens in winter squash beds.
Several years ago, we managed a three acre garden–1/3 was on mulch and drip, 1/3 was on 32″ spacing cultivated with a walk-behind, and 1/3 was on beds with 1′ spacing—on these 5′ beds the horses did primary tillage and end of season clean-up but cultivation was done with wheel hoes and colineal hoes. At this scale the handwork felt pretty manageable.
This year we are going to experiment using the All-In-One multi-tool carrier to see if we can grow greens on a narrower row-spacing but will still be a row crop rather than bed set up.
I am working on a book on implements and systems for the horse-powered market garden—please keep me posted if you invent or discover an HD cultivator for intensive bed systems.
Good Luck!May 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm #83264
Yup, I am more interested in the All-In-One with the offset draft. I feel like understanding this would help me clarify my ideas about fabrication of this type of tool. One of the things I have been thinking about is how it might even be better to have only one horse, since two horses 5′ apart might present drifting problems with those who have mismatched teams, despite foot-pedal steering. I’ve just never seen off-set draft in action with a one horse set-up.
Mostly I am interested in producing orchard crops for market and the garden will be for the household, as I have only about 2 acres of level, tillable ground. It seems like I could get away with Mc-D cultivator and JR is careful on even the most narrow of rows with the walk-behind but I am starting to be sympathetic to the idea that intensive bed cultivation is the last frontier with horse drawn equipment, and may be preventing tractor powered vegetable producers from taking horses seriously.
Is the Annie’s something that would be shown at the Cedar Mtn. open house? You guys are actually right over the mountains from my homestead in Plymouth. Also, I perused the 99′ SFJs and didn’t see the article mentioned above, perhaps I will branch out to the other years. Although I feel attached to the idea that this tool should have the sweeps traveling in front of or under the teamster.
Thanks for the interest and encouragement.
May 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm #83266
- This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by KMichelle.
We are planning on having the All-In-One in action at the Cultivation workshop—remains to be seen what we’ll be able to accomplish with it this year, as it is new to us—but since you are so close, you’d be welcome to stop in and take a look at it anytime you are over this way.May 11, 2014 at 8:50 pm #83296
I am not sure that the SFJ forecart that I mentioned was used for precision cultivation. I will contact the new owner and see about getting some photos to share. If I recall, this cart was used for blind cultivation (lely tine weeder) disc, an maybe some crude 3pt cultivation, but it has been so long since my conversation with the original owner (this cart has changed hands at least 3 times that I have known it).
I will occasionally seed 2 rows 4″-6″ together in my 36″ row spacing. I will do this with salad greens, radishes and carrots when I feel that I don’t have the space for all that I want to direct seed, OR when I feel that my seeding rate or germination rate may not be ideal. I like the 36″ row system. I feel that it is less demanding on the soil, it requires less nutrients, less precision bed preparation and allows for easy cultivation using a single or two horse cultivator. The yield/acre is not as high as a multi-row per bed system, but for the reasons above and as stated in the Nordell’s “Weed the Soil” publication I feel the single row system works best for me. I came from the tractor cultivation camp and I honestly don’t miss a multi-row bed system. I feel that I can produce enough with the 36″ rows without pushing the soil amendments and bed preparation of a more intense enterprise.
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