The most useful, and versatile, gardening tool I own is my two-wheel BCS tractor. This Italian-made tractor was designed for small farms in hilly areas areas where riding on a tractor risks a roll-over, so with a BCS you walk behind the tractor, steering it with handle bars. It is a powerful machine – I call it “the beast” – but very maneuverable, and you can attach a wide range of implements to its PTO.
In fact, my wife calls the tractor “a Barbie Doll for men” because I am always buying “new outfits” –new implements — for this machine. Currently, I have a rototiller attachment for cultivating the garden, a snow blower for clearing the driveway in the wintertime and a pasture mower for cutting tall grass and brush. I can also mount a grader blade on the tractor to smooth the driveway when it becomes rutted, and a snow plow blade for light snow removal in the winter. The tractor pulls a small cart which I have used for everything from hauling compost to the garden to collecting stones for my wall-building efforts. In addition, I have a small tow-able sprayer for use in my sustainable lawn business, and a “stone burier” – a specialized tiller that sifts and rolls the soil as it goes along, burying stones and sticks to create a ready-to-plant seed-bed.
These are only a sampling of the implements available for this ingenious machine – to see more, visit the Earth Tools website.
This is not an inexpensive machine but it is built to a real farmer’s specs and has proven a workhorse on my property over the last 10 years. As a mechanic told me before I bought it, if I keep up with the maintenance, changing the oil regularly, the tractor will probably outlast me. It is immensely satisfying, in this era of disposable, poorly made tools, to have at least one implement that defines quality and durability. It was built, after all, in the Ferrari factory in Torino Italy. A Ferrari car may not be in my budget, but a Ferrari-made tractor I can afford.