I have to admit that I have had to accept a little ribbing from some of my fellow organic farmers for all the fancy European farm equipment I have. I have shown some of them why I invested the time and money but alas no one has gone down this road so far. My original day job 33 years ago was as an engineer so I like machines that work well and do the job intended. So does our crew. If I took the German made finger weeder away from Ramon, I would hear about it very soon as our crew does not like hoeing and we have had to do very little of it since getting this machine.
The latest purchase was this planting machine from Italy. It was expensive but it enables us to get plants in the ground fast, get them watered sooner, and is way more comfortable for everyone to use. Our tractors are built in Europe even though they are an American company, and the engines are much more fuel efficient than your regular tractor here running on 3 gallons of fuel per hour compared to five for the same size tractor. This alone over the life of the tractor has saved us a considerable sum of money.
A few weeks ago Lorraine and I had the pleasure of spending time with one of the leading organic advisors in the State, Bob Cantisano. Last fall he spent several days at the Italian farm equipment show where farmers from all over Europe get to see all the new toys. He was very impressed and started to tell me how they were 10 or maybe 20 years ahead of us in California. He came home with lots of ideas and is starting to spread them amongst his clients. So now maybe I will not seem so strange to my fellow organic farmers.