After moving to the Tanegashima, Japan, I made a commitment to myself to only
use hand tools and forego any mechanization, including rototillers, weed eaters,
and anything else requiring energy other than elbow grease. A daunting task to
say the least considering I was dealing with three farms totally over 400 square
meters. In addition, avoiding mechanization is good for you, good for the
environment, and a way to really make you feel connected to nature.
I went on my way hauling, tilling, sowing, and harvesting, using
pretty much only what you see in the picture.
After a year of farming I was able to lose a fair amount of weight, got much
stronger, and grew a tremendous amount of veggies. All this and the respect of
the locals....Japanese people really appreciate hard work, especially from a
Then came the injuries. A torn bicep from pulling our car out of the sand at the
beach, and then two torn shoulders. We returned to America for a few months and
then moved back to the island....another story. I had no choice but to give in
and purchase a small rototiller. Now we are farming about 800 square meters, and
thank goodness for the rototiller.
Now on to the tools. I basically divide them into two categories....working
tools and hand tools.
Working tools include: a wheelbarrow, shovel, hoe,
and a rake.
Hand tools include: a shovel, hoe, rake, clippers,
and a tree saw.
With this arsenal at your disposal, there is no way you can go wrong. These
tools can be used in many different ways, for many different tasks, and really
all you need for successful farming.
Wheelbarrow - The hardest worker in the farm, used
for hauling dirt, weeds, and also used as a work table for tools, compost, or
whatever you need.
Shovel - Probably the most basic farm tool, used
for breaking up the soil,
digging out tree roots, and making holes for trees and posts.
Hoe - This tool is a must for making beds. This is also a handy tool for
weeding, pulling out tree roots, for breaking up the soil, and for
packing the soil when making beds.
Rake - Another invaluable tool used for raking
leaves and grass while leaving the soil in place. Also very useful for smoothing
out the sides of farm beds and the drains in between the beds.
Note - Ever mess up the handle on one of these
tools? Then you probably know the wood is really difficult to get out of the
metal piece. What to do? Simply toss the wood and metal pieces into your next
campfire and burn the wood out.
These hand tools are all you need for all the small work spaces in the farm.
Hoe - Same uses as the full size hoe.
Rake - Same uses as the full size rake.
Shovel - Same uses as the full size shovel.
Saw - A saw which folds out is great for cutting
tree branches and other pieces of wood in the farm.
Clippers - Very useful for trimming small branches
There they are, hard at work in the farm.