Small-Farm & Garden Technology
As the spring rains take a rest and allow for periods of planting on our farms and in our gardens, you may be interested to know that CCCD now offers small farm and garden tools and equipment that support soil health practices and management. Through the CCCD’s Equipment Rental Program and the Monadnock Grows Together Project, several hand tools and a walk-behind tractor and implements are available for anyone looking to improve their soil quality with the help of appropriately-scaled hand tools and equipment.
The CCCD now offers a walk-behind tractor with several implements through its Equipment Rental Program. This BCS walk-behind tractor and the implements expand the equipment rentals that currently includes tractor-scaled equipment, such as a no-till seeder, aerator, roller crimper, woodash/lime spreader, as well as a no-till vegetable transplanter and 12 ft. Esch no till drill (new in 2019). The CCCD is excited to expand its Equipment Rental Program to include the BCS and implements.
Walk-behind tractors (also known as two-wheeled tractors) are more than beefed-up rototillers. Their tractor-like versatility allows for different implements to run off of a single power source. The implements can be simply and safely changed out for one another. The implements available for the BCS through the CCCD are: a roller crimper, flail mower, power harrow, woodash/fertilizer spreader, seeder, and discs. These attachments resemble their larger-scale relatives available through the CCCD, all of whom are for anyone looking to reduce their tillage as a means of improving the biology and structure of their soil.
The BCS and the implements offered through the CCCD’s Equipment Rental Program are free to use in 2019, if you attended the BCS operations training this past April. Additionally, the equipment is housed in the CCCD’s new trailer which you must be able to haul in order to transport the equipment to and from your location.
For the human-powered gardens, CCCD received funding to purchase several hand tools that will be available to check out from the Keene Public Library, starting on June 23rd. The new Tool Lending Library is part of the Monadnock Grows Together Program which also offers a new seed lending library (also located at the Keene Public Library) and educational workshops designed for small farms and gardens. Not only will you find common garden tools available through the Tool Lending Library, but also an Earthway push seeder, a broadcast seeder, and a broadfork that can be used to prepare garden beds. In addition to using the broadfork to build healthy soils, you’ll also receive a great workout.
If you are looking to maintain and improve the health of your soil, whether it is in the garden or orchard, in a high tunnel, or in a raised bed, the CCCD and its partners continue to look for ways to promote soil health practices. The CCCD’s Equipment Rental Program and the new Tool Lending Library, are just a few ways that the District is focused on addressing the needs of both farmers and gardeners, no matter of one’s scale. It’s a long row to hoe and we all can take part in building healthier soils.
CCCD Board Chair
NCAT Northeast Regional Director