Sattin Hill Market Farming Course Module 14: Tools and Equipment (FSFS252)

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Episode Summary

This episode of Farm Small Farm Smart features the fourteenth module of the Sattin Hill Market Farming Course, where Josh Sattin goes through each of the tools, equipment, and supplies he uses on his farm, as well as other necessities for beginner farmers.

Today’s Guest: Josh Sattin

Josh Sattin is a farmer at Sattin Hill Farm in Raleigh, North North Carolina. As an educator and professional videographer, Josh has published hundreds of educational farming videos on his YouTube to help make a difference in the local farming and foodscape.

            Josh Sattin – YouTube | Instagram | Website

In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • An overview of the Sattin Hill Farm Course Module 14 (00:55)
  • Narrowing down the tool selection (01:21)
  • Make sure you have tool storage (01:42)
  • Bed prep tools (02:18)
    • Hard rake (02:25)
    • Soft rake (02:39)
    • Landscape rake (02:59)
    • Broadfork (03:39)
    • Shovel (04:14)
    • 10-tine rake (04:25)
    • Tilther (04:47)
  • Weed management tools (05:49)
    • Scuffle hoe or Stirrup hoe (05:54)
    • Collinear hoe (06:54)
    • Wire weeder (07:28)
  • Miscellaneous tools and supplies (07:56)
  • Planting tools (09:27)
    • Jang Seeder (09:30)
    • Gridder (10:13)
    • Paperpot Transplanter (11:15)
  • Nursery management tools (11:45)
    • Soil blocker (11:49)
    • Watering wand (12:31)
  • Harvesting equipment (13:58)
    • Totes (14:01)
    • Portable mechanical scale (14:40)
    • A good, sharp knife (15:46)
    • Quick Cut Greens Harvester (15:57)
  • Wash station and refrigeration (16:36)
  • Other necessary setups (16:52)
  • Means to get the products to customers (17:15)
  • Farmer’s market setup (17:49)

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FSFS252 (SHFC #14)

[00:00:00] Diego Footer:Welcome to farm small farm smart. I'm your host, Diego. DIEGO. In today's episode of farm small farm smart, it's module 14 of the Sattin hill farm course covering tools. If you enjoy this module and you want to watch Josh's presentation of it, you can do so on his YouTube channel, which I've linked to below.

[00:00:24] And if you want more resources related to this module and all of the modules in the satin hill farm course, visit Now let's jump right into it with farmer Josh Sattin.

[00:00:40] Josh Sattin: Welcome to module 14 of the Sattin hill Farm course. This module is all about tools and supplies. And before we get into it, it said to have a huge thanks to our sponsor, Paperpot Co. Without the help of Diego and Paperpot Co., this entire course wouldn't be possible. And more than later.

[00:00:55] In this module, I will cover all the tools that are needed for bed prep and soil work, harvesting, planting nursery management, and some other tools.

[00:01:07] Well, I've been referencing tools throughout this course in previous modules. And I will talk about other tools in modules coming up, but I wanted to make one video that kind of has everything in one package for you to see and all the tools. I will try to find links to everything I can find there'll be listed in the description now.

[00:01:21] One thing I want to say is that over the last few years, I've really narrowed down my selection of tools because I just realized what I needed, what I didn't need and found out what worked for my system. And that's kind of what I want to explain to you here today. And the L li the smaller amount of tools that you have, the happier you'll be.

[00:01:36] There'll be less clutter. You obviously spend more, less money. And it will be happier with less stuff going on. So before I get into the tools, I just want to say, make sure you have a place to keep your tools. So here I have this very simple tool storage, which is just a rack and a piece of plastic roofing works.

[00:01:53] Great. It doesn't keep it completely out of the weather for some stuff that I really want to keep out of the weather. I keep it in my shed, which is nearby. And one thing I want to say. To have a good place for your tools to be stored, but also to keep it close to where you need it. So you can minimize your footsteps and not waste time.

[00:02:07] So this is like right next to my beds, which is awesome. If you have a bigger farm, you might need more than one of these tools, setups and have multiple kits. so you can get tools close to where you need them. So let's get into some of the tools here. First, let's talk about some bed prep tools. I have three rakes.

[00:02:25] So the first rake is what I call a hard rake. So. Just a pretty standard rake, but it's not flexible. I use this for spreading out composts and building beds. It doesn't get a lot of use otherwise, but it is a really nice rake to have. Next one is what is what I call a soft rake or a leaf rake. So most people uses for raking up leaves.

[00:02:45] This is great for clearing up beds after you pull out a crop. So I'm clearing out debris or woodchips. and if you're curious about any of the bed prep stuff, go check out the module. It's about my no-till practices. I go through, how do I flip a bed and how I use all these tools? The third rake is the landscape rake.

[00:03:04] And a lot of these rakes, you just get at any sort of hardware store. This is a 36 inch wide landscape break. My beds are 30 inches wide, but this is what I used to finish off the beds at the end of the bed, prep. Some people like the 30 inch rake, which you can get one. a bed prep rake from, I think Johnny sells it.

[00:03:22] It's pretty expensive. You could also cut the ends off these if you want. But I actually really liked the 36-inch rake, I've gotten used to like pulling out an angle and have my own style with that. But this is, again, used to just finish off the bed after done prepping it. So this gets used every time I flip a bed.

[00:03:37] All right. So there's some other tools over here. The broad fork, highly recommend this. This is a huge part of building soil health and structure without causing too much damage to the soil. This one, a friend of mine made who was fairly local to me, but if you're looking for a great broad fork, Paperpot sell some awesome ones, really high quality ones.

[00:03:55] I'd recommend you go check out what they have. This is a tool that makes itself obsolete after a few seasons if you're using it properly and incorporating the no-till practices, but absolutely crucial on a farm, especially if you're breaking new ground or there's a lot of uses for a broad fork, but it definitely has a place on the farm here for sure.

[00:04:14] having a good shovel or two is great. of course it's going to be other tools that you're gonna need for any sort of property, but shovel�s important. Another one is. This guy here. So this is, it's got 10 times instead of other ones that maybe have four or five. I like this one a lot for moving wood chips.

[00:04:32] Cause it's really easy to get this in the pile of wood chips and lift them up. So use this for that and sometimes moving compost, but one of these is awesome.

[00:04:43] what else do we have over here? we have the tilter, which I talked about in that module two, and this is what I use to help prep the ground. It's a very small you can call it a tiller cause it goes down about an inch and this is what sort of incorporates amendments, then smooth things out. And this is a totally optional tool.

[00:05:05] This is not cheap, but I absolutely love it. I think it's, it's been worth it for me. I really like what it does to prep the soil for me. And as I said, this is an expensive tool, and this is optional. You can definitely get away with a rake. one thing I want to point out about this is if you need this, buy a really nice drill.

[00:05:22] I'm a big fan of Dewalt�s, and I've never been sponsored by them or anything, but they, I just, I buy the most expensive to Walter, like and find, and make sure you get some big batteries. Cause this will chew through batteries real fast. This is like a six-amp hour battery. and I can do several beds with this.

[00:05:37] So make sure you get a couple big batteries and a big powerful drill, this drill. You can also use for the greens harvester, which we'll talk about later. So I absolutely love the tilter, but it is a optional tool. We'll talk about hose briefly here. This will come more into the the weed management module.

[00:05:54] The first hoe that I have over here is going to be the what's called scuffle hoe or stirrup hoe. I haven't used this tool in years, but I have a couple of them laying around. there's a few reasons for that. One is my weed management style, which I'll get into is this isn't necessary anymore. If you are clearing out beds, a lot of people use this to crop out crops.

[00:06:13] but more often people are managing walkways with a hoe like this and they come in different widths or a So those are the, this can be very valuable for a lot of people. I just don't use it anymore. It's neat because it goes, it goes back and forth so you can push and pull it. But this, what I've noticed about using this as it does need a good amount of labor from the farmer.

[00:06:36] And as you get older, you want to do things that are easier on your back and use your on your body. So this, you have to put a good amount of effort in if you have some stronger work to do in the ground, but a lot of people have a couple of these around in different sizes for different jobs. So the more common hoes that I use are these two here.

[00:06:53] This is the collinear hoe. This one is from Johnny's. So this one's great for light cultivation. And I do love this tool. And one thing that's I've sort of already talked about with the scuffle hoe is that this is what's known as a thumbs up tool. And this is great because when you're working, your thumbs are up, you're upright.

[00:07:13] You're not leaned over, especially great. As you get older, even if you're younger, you need to protect your back and be careful of that. so this is great. Cause I could walk around, do my cultivation and not be leaning over and pushing into the soil too much. So this is not for heavy work, this for light cultivation, which we'll talk about in that module.

[00:07:28] And then the other one I use pretty often as a wire weeder. And this one is. Also great and use in slightly different applications. I like this. I've been using this more often because I have drip irrigation and it doesn't have sharp edges. So between the two of them, that's what I use for cultivation.

[00:07:47] So those are. Those are the main hoes that I have on the farm. And there's a couple of their tools here, but we'll talk about them in a later section. A couple more things over here. I want to show you, this is why I call this the cart port. Talked about this in a previous module, but I like to keep the wheelbarrow and cart under here just to keep the rain off of it and the sun off of it.

[00:08:05] It makes things last a lot longer. But keep these these wooden stakes around, these are what I use to measure out the beds ahead of time, these stay in the ground all the time. They're permanent bed markers for the permanent beds, but having a few extra rounds is great cause they break every so often.

[00:08:19] So those are great. Also keep a bunch of Mason twine around. I use this for marking up beds for when I'm prepping them and planting them. So keeping a roll of this, this is super helpful. Get that in the hardware store. This is a garden cart. This is from Vermont cart. And I don't remember if they have a couple of room models.

[00:08:38] This is, I think one of the smaller ones I think, but this is great with the buckets. These are just five gallon buckets. We use this for transport transporting compost and wood chips. And I found it's easiest to bring this over to the piles, fill the buckets up in the cart and then bring them down and then I can distribute them out into the beds.

[00:08:56] That way, of course, having a good wheelbarrow or two is super important. This is something I would not leave out on any farm or just any property really. And then lastly, over here is having a couple of solid tarps, which I've talked about in bed prep, but you can use them for a lot of things. So right now they're not really being put in use, but they will be shortly.

[00:09:15] So if you're curious about silage tarps there's information about prepping ground and all that kind of stuff, using solid sharps, they're super, super handy and very effective.

[00:09:27] Let's talk about planting. The number one planning tool that I use is going to be the Jang seeder, which I talked about in depth in the direct seeding module. I highly recommend this tool. I don't think this is optional. I know it's expensive, but if you're starting a farm, and you're starting a business, you're trying to go for profit.

[00:09:44] The precision of this in terms of getting proper stands in your beds. giving you huge yields, also saving you a ton of time and just low frustration. And it's just a well-built tool to last a long time. I highly recommend these, paper pot sells them. They'll sell a kit with the rollers that I use, which is super cool.

[00:10:02] So again, if you're looking for more details about this, check out the direct seeding module, but a great piece of kit, highly recommend it. And I don't think it's optional if you're starting a farm business. In addition to that, if you were transplanting, there's a couple of things you need. What I really like is this, this is the gridder and they come with different numbered heads.

[00:10:24] So this is the three. So I talked about this in the transplanting injure planting module. They're red because we've got them powder-coated otherwise they rust real easily, but I like this a lot for getting the spacing right in my transplanting. So again, give Scott that module. you just buy the heads that you need.

[00:10:41] So I only use the three and the four. I do have the two also, but just buy the ones you need for the crops that you like to use. And so you, the kit will come with different rollers with one handle and you can swap them out. But I wound up getting another handle, which has been great because it saves me time and.

[00:10:58] You know, less frustration. One thing I want to point out was the, the replacement handle that they sent me was like a two piece one with this like connector bit. And I, I ended up like cutting my hands on these bolts and stuff pretty often. So I don't know the one handle is nicer, but you can just buy one handle and swap them back and forth.

[00:11:13] it'll work fine. Another thing is the paper pot transplanter. And it's something that I personally don't use just because of my farm design and layout. And it just wouldn't really work for me here, but I know it is. It's super important and game changing tool for a lot of farmers out there. It allows you to transplant things out super quickly.

[00:11:31] Again, it's a pretty pricey tool, but we'll save you tons of time, especially if you're doing lots of transplanting in a short period of time, of course, go check out paper, pod co. If you're looking for either the Jang seeder or the paper pot transplanted

[00:11:45] In terms of nursing tools that went over this in the nursery management module. But if you're doing soil blocks or want to do small blocks, like I am, the first thing is going to be a soil blocker. And this is a pricey one. This is the standup blocker. They make one it's blocks those 3 35 at a time. If you're getting into soil blocks in any sort of scale, this makes it possible and enjoyable.

[00:12:04] And so I highly recommend this tool. If you're just dabbling and you want to try it, they make hand walking tools. This is a two inch blocker, but you get them in different sizes. These are a lot more inexpensive, but of course require a lot more labor to get the sole blocking done. You'll need some trays.

[00:12:17] These are my favorite kinds of trays to put the soil blocks in, of course you can see in here, there's no nothing started because it's the end of my season. And we�re taking the summer off. You need something to mix up the potting mix in with the water to make the blocks in. You'll need some good potting mix.

[00:12:31] You'll also need a good watering wand. This one's my favorite. It's the wonder waterer creates a really fine gentle mist, which I like. And otherwise something to mark your trays. I just use painters tape and a Sharpie. so there really isn't that much in here too. To talk about in terms of tools and equipment, but having some tables, I like one.

[00:12:51] The airflow can go through so that the roots don't mat out and allows water to drain out. But otherwise, you know, if you're not in a nursery, you can need to go under lights, those kinds of things. But again, for more details on that, go check out the nursery management module. Let me jump in here real quick and take a minute to talk about our.

[00:13:08] as I mentioned at the beginning of this module, this entire course is sponsored and made possible from the support of Diego in paper. Ratko I really can't thank them enough for supporting me and the farming community in general. And I really recommend that you go over to check out what they have for sale on their website or talking about tools and supplies.

[00:13:25] And of course, some of the best things you can buy from them would be, as I mentioned, the broad fork, jang seeder, and the paper pot transplanter, but they also have a lot of other great stuff to check out. And they're really a reliable place to buy things from. And they have awesome customer service. In addition to all that stuff, Diego is an awesome podcast or on YouTube or so go check out his podcast, farm, small farm smart and carrot cashflow, which is his new one.

[00:13:45] There's also additional resources for this course over at So go check that out. Thanks again, to pay for pot for sponsoring this. Back to the module.

[00:13:58] We definitely need a few things for harvesting and somebody go through those first of which I liked these totes a lot. I got these at Lowe's, these are the 18 gallon totes. They went up in price significantly lately. This is what I use for all the totes that I harvest on, I write harvest on the side, or you feel towed or whatever, because you want to make sure that whatever you're harvesting into you don't put final products into, for any reason.

[00:14:20] For me now, when I'm harvesting, they'll go after they get washed, they go into a bag and not a tote. I'll go through all that in the harvesting module, but I labeled them so that cause they have sole in them. I don't want to have clean products in them. So these are the totes I use there. They kind of fit in my 12 inch Walgreens.

[00:14:34] If you had 14 or 18 inch walkways or something like that, they do fit really well, but this is what a harvest into. And when I'm out in the field, what I'll do is I'll use this scale, which is the mechanical scale. I'll put the, the tote on it and tear it and then take the bin out and harvest it. And I can weigh things as I go.

[00:14:50] So if I know I need. You know, 30 pounds of lettuce on each tote, I can weigh it so that I don't come back to African Don Washington have either way too much or not enough. So I use this out in the field. I also use this scale for weighing out amendments. So this is great. I like a mechanical scale.

[00:15:04] There's really nothing to go wrong with. It don't have to change batteries also has a pretty high weight capacity. So this is great. So this is one of the scales I use. The other scale that I use. Is this one here. This was a little bit pricey, but I was sick of buying cheap scales and then breaking all the time.

[00:15:19] And so what I do is this is what I weigh cleaned finished product on it's very accurate. And I think it's important that you're really accurate with those weightings because you don't want to short your customers. So having something that's very reliable, this one's great because it's battery powered.

[00:15:32] I charged it a couple of times a year and it's good. I highly recommend investing in a good scale. This again was pricey, but as I've replaced a few skills over the years, I haven't had to replace this one lately. So that's great. In terms of the actual harvesting. there's a couple things that I recommend.

[00:15:46] One is like a really good knife. This is a very inexpensive little serrated knife that I've been using. I have a few of these they work pretty well for lettuce and those kinds of things. But if you're doing baby greens at all, I highly recommend the quick cut greens harvester from farmer's friend.

[00:16:02] I haven't grown baby greens in a while, so I haven't been using this, but if you want to do any sort of scale with. Rugola baby kale. any of those smaller greens like masculine mix or anything like you're going to need or spinach you're need one of these, like this, I can't express how much time this saves.

[00:16:21] And if you've ever seen one of these in action, or if you ever used. You'll know right away that you'll need one. so again, if you're just doing a few things here and there, maybe on super small scale, maybe can get around it, but if you're trying to make money with baby greens, this is definitely a necessity and it isn't to these tools and equipment here.

[00:16:39] Make sure you have a wash station, which I'll go through this wash station in detail, in a future module and make sure you have some refrigeration because you have to make sure you have be able to refrigerate your products before you send them out to your customers.

[00:16:52] A couple of other miscellaneous items. I want to mention here, first of which tunnels and irrigation, which I talked about in previous. If you're going to be doing any sort of winter growing or getting our crops early in the spring row covers important, which I talked about in the winter growing module.

[00:17:04] And to set those up, you need those wire hoops for the beds. You also need those wire hoops for insect netting. So I'll talk about insect netting in the pest management module. So those are all things you're going to need. In addition to the wash station, which I just briefly talked about, you're going to need to figure out a way to get your products to your customers.

[00:17:22] So you're gonna need some sort of delivery vehicle. It can be a personal vehicle. I used my wagon for a long time. I upgraded to a minivan or you can use a pickup truck. You'd need to make sure you can be able to move the produce that you need. Vans are great, cause they're covered and you can keep them cool in there.

[00:17:38] also I B I use these big coolers here with ice packs in them, and I'll show you that within future models, how this whoe setup works, but that allows me to transport greens and veggies in the summertime when it's super hot. In addition to all that, if you're going to a farmer's market, you'll need a whoe farmer's market set up.

[00:17:52] So the pop-up tent, the table. All of the stuff involved with a farmer's market set up. So keep all these things in mind, as you're planning out your farm, maybe some things that if you're just getting into this and you haven't really thought through it, make sure you have the budget for all these things.

[00:18:05] Some things you can DIY more than others or improvise a little bit, but most of these are necessary. And overall, it's not a huge expense, but there are things that you should plan for. And this is most of what I need for the farm. And hopefully this was helpful for you. Remember, there are lots. Q and a sessions following every module, which are on Monday at 3:00 PM Eastern.

[00:18:26] Also the next module module 15 will be all about pest management.

[00:18:33] Diego Footer: There, you have it. Josh satin on tools and equipment. That concludes module 14 of the sat and hill farm course. If you want additional resources related to this module and all the other modules in the course, visit paper, Josh.

[00:18:50] That's all for this one. Thanks for listening until next time. Be nice. Be thankful and do the work.


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