A few months ago Derek and I sat down and tried to work on a goals list for the farm. Where do we want to be in 5 years and in 10 years. It was a hard project to work on and I imagine it will be an evolving list as the season and year goes on. One of the major items we know we need to improve on is our weed management. Every season it seems the weeds get away from us which only hurts us the following year as the weed seeds drop and germinate and cuase even more havoc the following season. In the past we have used several hand held wedding tools which have worked well but take an awful lot of man hours which would be better spent harvesting or seeding. We are currently trying to decide on a wedding system that will work best for our system of growing. We have been looking online and talking to fellow growers about their wedding equipment and we think we have finally decided on a Eco Weeder or a Reigi Weeder as they are often referred as.
It attaches to the three point hitch on the tractor and someone sits on the weeder and moves the handles in and out around the plants such as broccoli or alongside the rows of carrots. The round finger disks are powered by the PTO and from what we have heard and read its a great tool. We would have to change the way we plant going from a 3.5ft bed system where we usually plant at least 3 rows of vegetables such as lettuce mix, spinach, carrots to a row system where we would only plant 1 rows between the tractor tires. The new system would take alot more land but the time spent wedding would be cut back by 80-90% leaving more time for other important tasks around the farm. At our current scale one might think this piece of equipment is a bit over the top but we do have lofty expansion goals and one of the main things keeping us from expanding is the concern about weed management.
We'll keep you posted and hope to have pictures of the Eco Weeder in action soon.