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Farm Group Built Custom Tillage Implements Together
Fifteen Quebec farmers worked together over two weekends in early 2019 to build a specialized tillage tool for each of them.
“We gathered in a crazy well-equipped shop in the dead of winter for 5 days and transformed $70,000 of steel and parts into raised bed tillage implements for each of us,” says one member of the group, Reid Allaway.
    “Everyone in our group grows vegetables in raised beds, but the bed formats vary, so each participant got the machine with the dimensions and options they wanted,” Allaway says. “The tool rebuilds and levels the raised bed with trailing disks and a tandem crumbler-roller. Both the tool itself and the rear roller assembly use triangle-type quick hitches for easy hitching and unhitching. The rear roller can also be swapped for a variety of other final pass tools.”
    Allaway says plans for the tillage tool were developed by L’atelier Paysan, an organization in France that assists growers with designing and manufacturing specialized farm tools.
    “Group building is a great concept to produce implements and equipment at a very reasonable cost compared to buying from a manufacturer, and it’s especially worthwhile when the tool you’re building is not on the market,” Allaway says. “We did all the cutting, jig building, drilling and assembly. We had a laser shop do a lot of precision cutting work beforehand and a CNC shop turned the hub parts. We did our own plasma table work on anything that didn’t benefit from the higher precision of a laser. Participants tweaked the design to meet their specific needs and in the process ended up with a custom implement. They choose the widths and components they wanted and only paid for what they got.”
    Allaway says it would have been 3 or 4 times more expensive to buy than what it cost the group to build the implements. Participants do the final assembly on their own farms and paint them whatever color they choose.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Reid Allaway, Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, 1025 Chemin St-Dominique, les Cedres, Quebec, Canada J7T 1P5 (ph 450 452-4271; info@fermetournesol.qc.ca).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3