Acknowledgements xj

Chapter I A Picture of the Small Fanner Today 1

Chapter 2 Tools for Cultivation 18

Chapter $ The Continuing Rjle of Draft Animals 87

Chapter 4 Tractors 127

Chapter 5 Equipment for Seeding and Planting 180

Chapter 6 Harvesting Equipment 240

Chapter 7 Cleaning Grains and Seeds 291

Chapter 8 Processing Equipment 333

Chapter 9 Tools for Adding Organic Matter to the Soil 403

Chapter 10 Woodlot and Orchard Management 428

Chapter 11 Livestock Equipment 462

Appendix A North American Manufacturers and Distributors 493

Appendix B International Manufacturers and Distributors 497

Appendix C Conversion Factors: United States and Metric Units 501


Took for Homesteaders, Gardeners, and Small-Scale Farmers is a technology sourcebook, not an exhaustive product listing. We want to show you what tools and implements exist to assist the small farmer and where they can be found. But, to be fair, we have to admit that there are many more sources o£ tools than we've been able to locate in the past year. If we missed a company you know about and trust, please let us know. If you are interested in distributing any of the products listed, we'd encourage you to write to the manufacturers. Many have expressed an interest in opening new markets.

It must be emphasized that the product descriptions in this book are not evaluations of the products. We are, in most cases, presenting the information provided to us by manufacturers or distributors. If we say more about one product than another, it is because somebody told us more about it. The same is true with photographs. We do not intend photographic coverage to be an endorsement of any product. However, we must confess to discriminating in favor of hard-to-find items both verbally and photographically.


Guidance in deciding what to include in this book came from three invaluable sources:

The idea for this book grew out of the Intermediate Technology Publications book, Tools for Agriculture: A Buyer's Guide ta Low Cost Agricultural Implements, by John Boyd. Its object is to provide a source of information on the availability of appropriate toots for the people in developing countries. As the basis of this co-publication, Intermediate Technology Publications have gladly made their written and visual material available to provide the foundation for this book, to which a mass of further information has been added. As a result, the book should prove of inestimable value to farmers and smallholders, not only in North America, but around the world.

Agricultural Engineer, Dr. Biswa Nath Ghosh provided photographs and the technical groundwork for many introductory sections.

Gene Logsdon, a contributing editor for Organic Gardening and Farming, revealed many of the needs of the small farmer in North America based upon experiences at his own farmstead in Ohio and those of other small>scale farmers he's met along the way.

Many thanks to all those who contributed photographs and information to (his book. Thanks also to the Rodale Press Photo Lab for assisting with the photographs.

My sincere appreciation to Barb Coyle who persevered with research, follow-up, collation, and keeping me organized.

Finally, special thanks to Jerry Goldstein for his guidance and support throughout.

Finding the right tools can be the most critical need for a small-scale fanner or a large-scale gardener. It can mean the difference between staying on or leaving the land, between a sense of drudgery or a sense of fulfillment, between a successful harvest or a meager crop, between profit or loss.

This catalog will, we hope, help you to find and use the tools you need to produce food. The tools and equipment described in its pages were selecteid primarily for their value to the homesteader, truck farmer, and the small-scale organic farmer, but backyard gardeners should also find things of interest. This book attempts to fill the gap brought about by what the late E. F. Schumacher of the Intermediate Technology Development Group in London termed "the Law of the Disappearing Middle.'" As technology steadily moves to higher planes, we are left with primitive, simplistic tools on the one hand, and a very complex, sophisticated technology on the other.

This book intends to show that intermediate-scaled farming is one topic in which people of all lands share common interests and common needs. It is built on five important concepts which we believe to be true:

1. that in many instances the developing nations are ahead of the industrial giants in developing appropriate tools and machines for successful farming on a small scale;

2, that although it may not be readily available everywhere, the technology exists somewhere or has existed at some time in the past to accomplish those tasks which need to be done in an efficient way on the small farm;

3, that it is just a matter of implementing existing knowledge to get these tools to those people who want to put them to work;

4. that to satisfy the need expressed by the small fanner does not mean a technological regression to the primitive techniques practiced on yesterday's small farm, but rather a rediscovery of these techniques, a recognition that ihey retain relevance to today's small farmer;

5. that what is called for is a modernization of these techniques, applying the technological wisdom of today to the techniques employed i.i the past.

—Diana Branch, Editor


Innumerable groups and societies are now concerned with exploring alternatives—alternatives that do not destroy, waste, or pollute our natural resources. More and more individuals are dissatisfied with the mindless repetition of simple tasks imposed by mass production and are seeking greater self-fulfillment and freedom from the tyranny of superficial nine-to-five routines. The movement toward self-sufficiency, home-steading, organic gardening and farming, ¿nd natural food is a part of this whole movement.

The problems of agribusiness are also forcing us to explore alternatives. The problems are of both scale and technique: mechanized farming of vast areas with huge machines and widespread use of chemical fertilizers and sprays; the development of food factories; the missive infiltration of artificial ingredients into our foods; the intensive breeding of animals raised in confined conditions for slaughter.

Is more energy being poured into this type of farming than is produced by the harvest? Is the soil's substance being eroded? Do chemical sprays harm the environment more than they benefit the farmer? While surely we need the food, do the means we use to produce it destroy the resources on which we all depend? Are there satisfactory alternatives that could provide as great a volume of production using less-violent means?

These are some of the broad questions that are being asked by more and more people.

Til ere are other related questions, too. As technology moves forward, machines become ever more sophisticated in doing the work of more and more people. In a period of rising unemployment throughout the world, should not this trend be reversed?

Certainly in developing countries, the planners and governments are beginning to have second thoughts. In many cases, the modern high-level technology that was introduced to increase productivity in various fields has proven disastrous for the countries concerned. Western-style technology used scarce supplies of capital and costly fuel, required maintenance beyond the ability of local skills, provided very little employment and even, in some cases, drastically reduced employment. Now, more appropriate alternative methods are being investigated by developing nations. These methods create more employment, use less capital, can be maintained by local skills, increase productivity by successive small increments, and are appropriate to the social and economic requirements of the particular country concerned.

Certainly, the time seems to be ripe for an examination of alternative techniques that could provide some solutions to the mounting concern that is being expressed. There are several lines of investigation that could be followed:

First, existing practices could be modified at the technical level in order to use renewable resources or modify machines so that less pollution is caused and less damage is done to the environment.

The second approach could be to revive and reintroduce an older, tried-and-proven technology using more labor, in which individual skills are needed, providing meaningful work and job satisfaction. These skills may have to be relearned and the technology and tools reworked to suit modern methods and materials.

Third, the scale of modern technology could be changed to meet the needs of a particular area or industry. Centralized production could be changed to small-scale production serving local areas rather than supplying several states. More employment would be provided, with less fuel being wasted on transport. Local prefer ences could then be catered to, for the establish ment of a small industry in a local area lias a multiplier effect on the local economy.

In a sense, this book is an amalgsm of all three approaches with regard to agriculture and small-scale farming. It contains examples of many different tools and pieces oE equipment that can be used in each stage of farming, from plowing to harvesting, from preparing the soil to processing the crop. Some of these tools are based on older, well-tried technologies; some are scaled-down, smaller machines designed for smaller farms; others are designed to use renewable resources to help make organic farming more productive.

This mine of information, carefully gathered and cataloged here, should prove invaluable to farmers, gardeners, and small landholders alike.

—Frank Solomon, Editor, Intermediate Technology Publications

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