The Garlic Mobile – WWOOF project

It’s a lean, mean, garlic planting machine.

During my first day here a fellow WWOOFer told me of a machine that Miki, our host, was welding together in the garage for a few days; it was a machine he intended to plant garlic with. I was expecting a little machine that would glide across the dirt seamlessly and was compact and easy, and maybe even cute. Nothing could of prepared me for what I later named as, The Garlic Mobile.

It was a monstrous machine, well, it looked more like a heap of random metal pieces welded together. By just looking at it, I had no idea what the hell it was, maybe just scrap metal or one of those clunky metal art pieces that artists make these days? It stood at about six feet long by five feet wide, and I later discovered, hovered about two feet off the ground. It would be used to plant the twenty kilo bag of garlic, the twenty kilo bag that we’d soon find out was our responsibility. Which bestowed on us the responsibility of peeling apart each single clove of each single garlic in there. Yeah, I had arthritis and carpel tunnel after. (I have a blog oriented to things I did for entertainment during the garlic peeling, it’s titled “Making roses out of garlic skins.)

After peeling apart countless garlics for countless hours, I was ready to make use of them; I wanted to see my work put into use! Needless to say, I was ready to do whatever it took to help along the garlic planting, and that meant, finishing the garlic mobile.

Here is the advancement of the mobile, from when we first saw it to when we finished it, via photos.

I apologize about the blurriness, but it totally helps with the “feel” I had when my eyes first saw this. My thoughts were a bit unclear of what this was actually going to look like in the end..
First day of working on this metal scrap, we painted it a vibrant maroon color. Not quite sure what I think of the color ‘cuz it sort of looks like blood, and that’s sort of creepy. Bloody metal?
Bloody metal.
We finished two coats of paint and I finally started to understand how this machine was going to move around, on four wheels of course!
Lots of sawing
Lots of drilling
The sawing and drilling was to make these wood platforms that would sit on top the metal. Those boards are where two people could lay on, stomach down, to plant the garlic without having to squat and stand, squat and stand, get the point? Plus, it would almost guarantee a straight line of planting, rather than a zig zag. (I totally did that one day planting potatoes, but I’ve learned and I’ve grown from that, okay?!.)
The front of it has one piece of wood, that’s where the wench will sit, yes the wench, how else would it move with the weight of two people, kilos of garlic and a heap of metal?
In the middle of the back of the machine is the battery that supplies power to the wench.
My fine drilling skills. 🙂
This is where we started making support boxes for the crates of garlic that would be placed in the front, close enough for us to reach while laying down.
The support boxes are in place and the garlic crates are in place. Check. This picture also shows the large screws hanging down from the front of the machine, I had no idea what they were for till we asked Miki. He actually made them so when the garlic mobile would travel on the soil, the screws would drag and draw lines in the dirt, making it quite simple to plant straight garlic lines. Smart man, huh?
Here is another nice shot of the baskets. As you can see they are slanted and they have holes cut in the bottoms, that’s for when you place loads of garlic into them, the garlic will slide down into a perfect and in reach bottle neck position to grab.
The finished product!!! Yey! We were pretty excited to see it completed, but we were even more excited to be a part of the process of making it; it was extremely fulfilling.
The Garlic Mobile.


2 thoughts on “The Garlic Mobile – WWOOF project

  1. I am very proud of you! You worked hard and I can see that it must have been very fulfilling to see it completed and to plant the garlic and know that when you are back in the States that your work the Garlic Mobile will still be there long after you’re home!

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