Thursday, April 16, 2009


Perhaps the most indispensable tool on a farm (an impossible choice - a sharp pocket knife, the ubiquitous 5-gallon bucket, a pair of sturdy rubber boots, a screwdriver, can you choose?), forks come in many shapes. This afternoon, before we returned to fixing the tongue on the chicken tractor, we sat in the sun with Olivier and talked about the various kinds.

Pitchforks refer to any kind of fork used for moving, scooping, and throwing material (hay, manure, gravel, compost, etc.) The two most commonly used kind of pitchfork are the hay fork, and the manure fork.

The manure fork usually has between 5-8 (and sometimes more) closely spaced tines, which makes it the perfect tool for scooping up manure, compost, and matted bedding.The hay fork usually has only 3 (and sometimes 2) widely spaced tines. This makes it easy to hoist it into a pile of lose hay and gather up a large amount in one forkful. The hay balances on the tines; any more would create too much resistance, and the fork wouldn't easily slide into the pile and catch the hay.
Then there are garden forks, which refer to any fork used to dig and turn soil. These forks are not for lifting. Their short, flat tines (usually 4) work like a shovel. Garden forks are the ideal tool for turning beds, incorporating compost, and digging holes.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

These are great pictures