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Handmade Tools Make Simple Work at Inspiration Farm

pm269_560Watch Brian Kerkvliet cut thick grasses easily and quickly with his hand-built scythe — a far cry from a noisy weed whacker! He demonstrates three tools whose design he has honed over the years: the scythe, grass rake and U- bar or broadfork. “It took a few years to get the right methodology, the right blades, the right sharpening technique, and the ergonomic setup so it’s effortless,” he says of the scythe. The U-bar gently aerates soil and doesn’t compress it like a rototiller. “I used to rototill, run my tractor. The beauty of this is you don’t have to do the whole area. You just do the beds you need to do. It might take me 15-20 minutes to do these beds, and I’m good for three years.” []

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