Last Sunday we had visitors for breakfast then we went out into the field to play with our enhanced finger weeder. Some of you may have heard me go on about how wonderful this machine is and how much time and energy it saves us. Well, here I go again. Almost three years ago, Christian, the German was on the farm checking that I was doing a good job with the machine that he invented. I passed but asked him for the cultivating tines that would enhance the machine. It took him all this time to get the parts to me but now the job we can do with this weeding machine is pretty amazing. These are winter squash seedlings that emerged just last week and we are already weeding between the plants. Normally we have two people hoeing for three weeks doing what this machine will do in a day plus a couple of days hand hoeing.
I can firmly say that no one on the farm loves hoeing so this is a great day for every one.
Armando, on the left of the image at the top, sells agricultural machines and flew up from Mexico to see this machine. Will is originally from Venezuela, and he works full time for Christian now.
The fingers disturb the soil around the squash plants where the seedling weeds are germinating. I would say that over 99% of the weeds are removed. This machine needs a very flat and uniform bed to work on. We have that thanks to our bed shaper. The adjustments to have optimum effect are numerous. I had a cultivator like this when I was farming in England. Christian now has an office in Pennsylvania so it will be easier to get parts. When I got my original machine and the brush hoe, I had to import them directly from Germany. These tools allow us to work efficiently. We need this kind of technology to compete with farms in Mexico who have cheap labor at about 10% of our crew cost. - Nigel