P3290073One of the reasons organic produce cost more is all the hoeing that we have to do to keep down the weeds. Chemical farmers just reach for a jug of something special to spray on the ground before they plant and none or very few weeds emerge.
We have a hard working crew who would prefer to be doing other things on the farm than hoeing so I had to look to find ways to keep the weeds down. There are machines that do this job but they are cumbersome. I saw this weeder at the Paris Machinery show 3 years ago. I bought it and had it imported along with another which brushes the weeds away from closely planted crops such as spinach and lettuce. Together they cost us $25,000 but they have paid for themselves several times over in just 20 months.
The fingers move the soil between the plants in the row disturbing the young seedling weeds. When we get the timing right it completely eliminates the need to hand hoe the crop. We are still learning so there is still a little hoeing to do but only a small fraction of what we have done in the past. The crew love both machines and they get used every week.