From Speculation to Innovation
“When I first began direct-seeding rice and winter grain, I was planning to harvest with a hand sickle and so I thought it would be more convenient to set the seeds out in regular rows. After many attempts, dabbling about as an amateur, I produced a handmade seeding tool. Thinking that this tool might be of practical use to other farmers, I brought it to the man at the testing center. He told me that since we were in an age of large-sized machinery he could not be bothered with my “contraption.”
“Next I went to a manufacturer of agricultural equipment. I was told here that such a simple machine, no matter how much you tried to make of it, could not be sold for more than $3.50 apiece. “If we made a gadget like that, the farmers might start thinking they didn’t need the tractors we sell for thousands of dollars.” He said that nowadays the idea is to invent rice planting machines quickly, sell them head over heels for as long as possible, then introduce something newer.”
– Masanobu Fukuoka, One Straw Revolution
Think Water Wagon
At 2013 Horse Progress Days I met with Elam Stoltzfus of ELS Manufacturing and asked him to send me a picture of his new Liquid Manure Spreader Wagon. I think this unit, retrofit for potable water, would be a big hit. To make that happen he needs to know there are others out there who think likewise. LRM
“The truth is that the highest yields on the planet have always come and are still attained in small plots, in rice paddies and hand-tilled home gardens.” — Paul Hunter, One Seed to Another
Just Raise the Handles
Also at Horse Progress Days I met young Jelmer Albada from Europe who is working at Roxbury Farm in New York to help transition from tractors to horses.
He is excited about having successfully imported INTO the US a Dutch two row walking cultivator/toolbar.
He sent me this picture and he’s right: these are most exciting, offering a simple “why didn’t I think of that?” approach to an all important feature of market gardens. LRM
“My grandfather used to say that once in your life
you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, and a preacher,
but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”
– Brenda Schoepp