Years of reflection, experiment, trial and error, and other iterations, have resulted in the home made hoe designed by Franck Vuillermet from the ‘’GAEC Petite nature’ at Chambéry... The Atelier Paysan drew up a plan and made the first prototype.
Let’s straightaway forget all the stereotypes about the Savoyards and their rustic side. Yes, you can be in a remote location, surrounded by the massif des Bauges and the Chartreuse, and yet still be someone who wishes to share their inventions! As we were reminded recently by another philosophical Savoyard market gardener, champion of a collaborative approach: "It’s important to work together".
A hoe, built on the farm, but .. and there had to be a ‘but’ : a one off ! This need no longer be the case. Juggling with the summer heat and the cooler temperature of the offices, the Atelier Paysan devoted itself to standardise Franck’s hoe. By using standard gauge materials, agricultural machinery parts available in the trade and simple technological solutions, an implement emerged which was difficult to tell apart from the original model.
From the operating position at the rear, having adjusted the hoe tines or the ridgers (disks or ridger), the handlebar allows precise control over the sideways movement of the implement. The teeth are easy to move, the height of the disks and the wheels is adjustable by a handle and the steering can be locked if one wants to use the implement in fixed position ..... a real multi-purpose ‘Opinel’.
The implement was designed in June, assembled in July, during a self-help workshop, and field-tested in early August. This speed is down to the Savoyard inventor, who didn’t count the hours it took to achieve a finished product! The implement is now being put to the test to make sure that future versions work. It looks as if this implement will soon be used in training, with plans and assembly instructions freely available on our Internet site .... watch this space !
Further information is available on this forum post:
Plans of the prototype hoe (pdf - 2 Mo)
Warning! The tool needs to be tested before its design is validated!
The entirety of this article, including descriptions, photos and technical drawings, are available for all to use under a Creative Commons licence. They can be distributed and modified as long as the user mentions their origins (Atelier Paysan) and ensures that all related tools and documents are also under Creative Commons.