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Back Saving Asparagus Picker
You can harvest your asparagus crop without bending over using a new cutter developed by New Mexico farmer AJ. Walterscheid of Carlsbad.
"Instead of back-breaking work, asparagus cutting is now like taking an enjoyable walk," says Walterscheid, who came up with the idea because he has a lung problem that caused him to lose his breath when doing the job by hand.
His asparagus cutter consists of a small square box, sized to hold 2 lbs. of asparagus, mounted at the bottom of a 2-handed handle that comes up to waist level. The handle consists of two pipes, one inside the other, each fitted with a hand grip. The inside pipe turns freely and connects to a cutting paddle. While holding the stationary handle, you turn the handle on the inside pipe, cutting the stalk off at ground level with a snapping action and pushing it through a spring-loaded side door into the box. As they're cut, stalks are held up against a spring-loaded "keeper" that moves back as more stalks are cut. Once the stalk compartment is full, you just pull the springed "keeper" backwards to dump the load.
"I built 4 or 5 models before I got one that works. This really does the job," says Walterscheid.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, AJ. Walterscheid, 3129 Hepler Rd., Carlsbad, N.M. 88220 (ph 505 236-6241).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4