Over the past few weeks, Landon and I have been dealing with the realities of our hardpan. It’s a nasty, compact layer of soil about 4-6 inches beneath the topmost layer that causes all sorts of problems. Most maddeningly, it interferes with root growth and prevents proper drainage.
We’re not sure quite how it got there–probably a combination of our tractor mistakes and the tractor mistakes of our predecessors. Regardless of its origins, it’s our responsibility to vanquish its evil ways. Landon’s tillage radishes should do some good work over the winter, and adding organic matter (compost, manure) should help over time. But alas, we don’t have time. We need to cultivate those fields now.
That’s where the broadfork comes in. To loosen the hardpan, you stick the tough 8-inch tines of the broadfork deep into the soil and give it a few wiggles. Landon and I have been going through this process before each planting. It’s kind of a drag.
Well, it WAS kind of drag. It was kind of a drag until I discovered the natural relationship between the rhythm of broadfork-ing and the rhythm of dance music. Which of course made we want to make a video.