About the Broadfork
The Broadfork, sometimes called a U-bar digger, is used to loosen soil to prepare for planting or for adding soil amendments such as compost or mulches. It will open and loosen soil while minimizing damage to its living strata of flora and fauna that provide the nutrients for the garden bed. The Broadfork is also a great tool to choose for harvesting potatoes, beets, carrots, etc.
It's easy! By stepping on the crossbar, one side then the other and using only body weight, the tines are set completely into the soil. Using the tremendous leverage of the pair of 48" long handles, the soil is loosened by working the handles back and forth in a kind of rowing motion. As is the case of most old, well designed human powered tools, the Broadfork requires minimal effort for the work it produces. It's the kind of tool that almost anyone can use effectively. It doesn't require brute force, rather it provides a rhythmic, almost aerobic workout when used properly.
The Gulland Forge Broadfork
The 48” long handles are made from select Ash from the Tennessee River Valley and finished with a 50/50 blend of linseed oil and turpentine. Ash is an incredibly strong wood, and each handle is selected for density and grain quality. I install each one with the grain set in the proper direction for maximum strength and durability. Wood is far superior to metal handles with it’s dynamic “feel” when worked. It’s also warm to the touch, and the ends are contoured to better fit the hand. Handle span is 20” across.