Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com. This episode covers the topic of Swales – A Permaculture Practice. This topic was covered on January 4th 2016 on the Great Escape Farms blog post.
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Rogue Hoe Review | Rogue Hoe as a Wwopfer Tool
This post, Rogue Hoe Review | Rogue Hoe as a Wwopfer Tool, provides information on how we used the Rogue Hoe on a farm installing swales. The Rogue Hoe is a tool that can help you in the garden if you have a lot of ground to shape. I used it when working on a farm as a Wwopfer earlier this year putting in swales. We put in thousands of feet of swale and the Rogue Hoe was one of the go-to tools for all of the guys working on the project. It is a very sturdy tool that can stand up to a lot of different people using it over a long period of time.
The Rogue Hoe is actually not a specific tool but a series of tools made by a company with the name “Rogue Hoe”. Rogue Hoe is a family owned company out of Missouri. They make heavy-duty implements for a variety of purposes to include farm, garden, trail building, and firefighting.
The implements use recycled agriculture disc blades for the heads. On their website they claim to hand craft each implement. I know that when I ordered mine they sent me an email telling me they were making it and it would take some time. It did take over a month before it arrived.
The model 70HR48 is the hoe I used as a Wwopfer and the model that I bought afterwards. The 70H part of the part number refers to the hoe part of the head. It is a 7-inch hoe with a very sharp head capable of cutting roots and sod. The “R” part of the part number is for a rake end on the opposite side of the hoe end. The rake end has 5 tines, each about ¾-inch wide and very sharp. The spacing between the tines is about 1-½-inches. The implements can be ordered with 48 or 54 in handles and there are options for ash, hickory and fiberglass handles. This implement weighs right around 5 pounds and you feel each of those pounds by the end of the day.
The other Wwopfers and I used mainly the hoe end of the implement to cut up grass and soil chunks and shape the swales. I used the rake end a few times but usually preferred the hoe end. We also used the hoe end to loosen soil and level out the bottom of the swale. If you notice from the picture the very end of the implement is very flat. Having a flat end on the end of a pole made for a very nice tamper to assist in shaping the swale.
My assessment of this tool is that it is a must have if you are doing any kind of trenching, swailing, trail making, or any function that involves shaping the land by hand. My only caution with this tool is to be careful, especially when you are tired. The ends are very sharp and it would be very easy to hit and cut something that you didn’t intend on damaging (such as yourself).
The item can be found on www.groguehoe.com and the implement I purchases was the 70HR48. This particular item is listed under the “Fire Fighter Tools” link. The item I bought cost $69.65, but because of the weight there was an $18.50 shipping charge bringing the total to $88.45.
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