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Best Double Play Bow Rake for Urban Farmers

Updated on June 12, 2014

As an urban farmer, a good bow rake is one of the most important tools on the farm.  Since we live in the city, space is compact, so having one tool to do many jobs is important.  And, because I am a woman of small stature, a lightweight too that is not too large and unwieldy is important.

The Ames 16-tine double play bow rake has all the features that I need in a garden and farm tool.  It is sturdy and lightweight, and not too wide.  It is easy and comfortable to handle, and does what I need it to do in the garden, livestock pens and landscape.

In the garden, the rake tines loosen compacted soil easily, and then I can flip it over and use the leveling side to smooth out the soil surface or to spread composing materials easily. 

In my chicken coop and livestock pens, I can clean up bedding and waste quickly and easily using the rake tines to grab the larger materials, and then using the leveler to scrape up any materials that are left behind.  Spotless pens are a snap, and no poo gets left behind.

In my landscape, the leveler removes debris and smooths out granite, making it look like a professional landscaper cleaned my yard.

I have owned several rakes, ranging from leaf rakes to 36-inch landscape rakes.  This rake tops them all, and replaces all of the others.  I purchased mine for less than $30 with shipping, and it has lasted for several years. Although I use it daily, it is still in great condition and I expect it to do the job for me for several years to come.

These are a few essential items that make cleaning stalls, composting and gardening a snap!  I have selected items that I personally use.  As a 5-foot, middle-aged, small woman, the right tools allow me to keep farming and to do most of the work myself.  The tools that I purchase must be very sturdy, so that that will last and not need repairs.  They must be ergonomically sound and have short handles to give me leverage so that I can move heavy materials more easily.  And they must do the job without hassle.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Seymour SV-SDA14 29-Inch Aluminum D-grip Handle No. 14 Grain Scoop
Seymour SV-SDA14 29-Inch Aluminum D-grip Handle No. 14 Grain Scoop

A sturdy grain scoop is useful not only for feed, but also for shoveling waste materials. I prefer this model with a relatively short handle, since I am of small stature. Because the handle is not too long, I am able to get good leverage on the shovel to lift more materials easily.

 
Gorilla Carts GOR200B Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame and 10-Inch Pneumatic Tires, 600-Pound Capacity, 36-Inch by 20-Inch Bed, Black Finish
Gorilla Carts GOR200B Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame and 10-Inch Pneumatic Tires, 600-Pound Capacity, 36-Inch by 20-Inch Bed, Black Finish

The quick-release dump feature on this cart makes moving waste materials into my compost pile a snap. Even heavy materials can be easily transported, and I do not have to lift them to drop them to empty the cart.

 
16 Tine Double Play Bow Rake
16 Tine Double Play Bow Rake

This is a photo of my personal rake.  As you can see, it has been used (this morning!)  By far the favorite and most-used tool on the farm, I purchased it several years ago when my old rake fell apart.  I did not know then how wonderful this tool would be, because I initially did not even notice the leveling edge.  What a fantastic addition to the rake!  I will never again purchase a rake that does not have a leveling edge, and I don't anticipate having to replace this sturdy model any time soon.

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