Cultivating Friends with Pitchfork and Crow

Jeff and Carri at Pitchfork and Crow
Jeff and Carri at Pitchfork and Crow

“A lot of what you see is what you don’t see.”

That’s what Jeff of Pitchfork and Crow said of the fifteen acres he and his wife Carri have been cultivating since 2010. The two have battled to remove clusters of Himalayan blackberries and have transformed the land into what you do see: a pleasant farm just outside of Lebanon, Oregon.

The husband and wife duo weren’t always farmers. Carri graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Natural Resources Management, and Jeff has degrees in Geography and Special Education. Now they are the producers of Oregon Tilth certified organic vegetables and fruit for 68 regular-season CSA members, as well as a Winter CSA of 38 shares.

When Carts and Tools came to visit, we were greeted lovingly by Ira the dog, a sampling of fresh (and delicious) spinach, and the amiable Jeff and Carri.

Jeff wanted to see what our tools could do and first put them to the test in some crusted clay. Both Tillie and the wheel hoe broke up the thick chunks nicely. Having passed in the toughest conditions available, arugula beds were the next order of business.

Tillie in Pitchfork and Crow's arugula beds.
Tillie in Pitchfork and Crow’s arugula beds.

In this lighter soil, Tillie’s precision stole the spotlight as it maneuvered without damaging Jeff and Carri’s delicate spring arugula. Michael demonstrated that at low speeds, Tillie could easily pick off any weeds between rows like a basketweeder—and by holding it at an angle, it cultivates like a tiller.

Like most people who use Tillie, Jeff and Carri noted how lightweight and quiet it is. It looks like Tillie has something in common with Pitchfork and Crow: a lot of what you see is what you don’t see.

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