David using Broadfork

One of our Dad’s teachings
was about how helpful
is the right tool.
He was always proud of the fence-stretcher
his father made—
not only because his father made it,
but because it made fixing fence
so much easier.
We still have it.
And when one of the Oklahoma Permies
brought a Broadfork
to our permaculture class,
I could see right away
it was the right tool
for working the garden.
We have learned not to disturb
with tiller and shovel
the flora and fauna community gathered there in the soil.
But the soil needs some loosening
and aeriation
at times.
And the soil,
especially after a dry summer
like the one we just had,
gets very hard.
Comes the Broadfork;
ours, recommended by two friends,
from Gulland Forge in Kentucky.

David Walden, a WWOOF
(World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)  intern,
used it this week preparing our garden beds
to receive soil amendments, alpaca manure and mulch.
You shove it in the ground,
then stand on it and rock back and forth,
loosening the soil,
then lift the soil up slightly
with the tines,
before removing the fork,
and letting the soil back down—
disturbing,
but not destroying,
the soil’s healthy community.

Thanks Dad,
for teaching us to honor
good tools,
especially tools
that honor Earth’s community.