The designer of our finger weeder, Christian, was on the farm again last week. He had been setting up a new machine on the farm of our good friends Matt and Lily. I had shown Matt the finger Weeder working several years ago but it was not until his 'boss' Lily saw it in late March did they make the purchase.
Ramon has been asking for extra part for our machine to help clean up the sides of the beds. He was able to install these last Thursday.
The efficient control of weeds in our crops is vitally important not only to maintain good crop yield but to keep our crew happy. No one loves to hoe by hand all day. We go through and quickly clean up any weeds after the weeding machine. The crops we sow 12 rows to a bed are cleaned with a brush weeder similar to a street sweeper. This machine works well but does not take out the weeds in between the crop plants. These beds can get messy especially if we have to irrigate frequently in hot dry periods such as this Spring.
Weed control on organic farms was the subject of my thesis, and I am happy to report that the technology has advanced greatly since I completed that work.