In the event of a large-scale disaster, where the power grid might be affected, you may be limited in the type of tools you use for your food production.

In this guide we’ll talk about and discuss out prefered 9 human powered tools. You many be familiar with some of them, but knowing what applications they are best for will make your food production efforts more efficient. Let’s get started.

1. Shovel.

A shovel is a no-brainer and everybody knows about it. You can dig holes to plant fruit trees with it, you can dig a garden bed with it, you can shovel manure, and you can kill zombies, if you ever needed to.

2. Spading fork.

Now this isn’t a manure fork or a pitchfork. Usually it has four hard tines on it that you dig into the ground and work the ground. If you’re going to double dig garden beds, or turn over the ground and you’re not using a tiller, a spading fork is what you would use.


It’s a way to dig in, and loosen the ground with those tines. You put your foot on it, stick it into the ground and kind of work it in.

3. Hoe.

The regular boring old garden hoe that is rusting in the corner of your dad’s shed is a fantastic weeding tool.

The problem is, most of us don’t really know what to do with it. We go out there, and we start hammering at the ground with it. Most modern hoes are actually very poorly made. They don’t hold a very nice edge and they come dull from the factory.

We often don’t know we’re supposed to sharpen them and adjust that little gooseneck so that it’s at a good angle to decapitate weeds when it hits the ground.

Go on eBay and get yourself a vintage hoe head, and it will make all the difference in the world.

4. Scuffle hoe.

This is also known as the hula hoe or an oscillating hoe. It has a little blade that rocks back and forth in the ground, and so cuts both ways, back and forth, just beneath the ground.

If you have looser soil, this thing is a weeding machine. It cuts both ways through the ground, back and forth and it’s revolutionary.

5. Digging hoe.

It’s also known as a grub hoe and they come in different varieties. They can all be used for digging pumpkin holes, yam beds or root beds.

It’s easier to use the heavier hoe head than taking a shovel and jamming that shovel into the ground, and twisting it.

They are fantastic for digging and popular all over the world, particularly the third world, but not so much inside the United States. They can be found on eBay.

You can dig much easier than a shovel, and it’s an easier motion and the hoe head works for you. It’s not really a weeding hoe, it’s a digging hoe for hacking holes in the ground and tilling new earth.


  1. Wheel hoe.

A hundred years ago people were moving away from mules and horses to a type of hoe called the “Planet Junior hoe”.

It’s a hoe with a couple of handles on it, and a bicycle wheel towards the front.

7. Harriet Kimble’s Planet Whizbang wheel hoe.

This is a modern reinvention of the old Planet Junior wheel hoe. It is about five times as fast for weeding. If you have a long row garden, you just walk the paths with it, and cuts through the ground.

It has an oscillating blade like the hula hoe blade and it rocks back and forth and decapitates all the weeds.

If you’re doing five or ten thousand square feet of gardens, you just have to walk down those rows, and those paths are weeded. It weeds almost as fast as you can walk.

Fantastic tool for any kind of survival gardening situation. Very easy, you can build one of your own. If you look up the plan at whizbang and you’re clever with putting stuff together, you can actually build one.

These are coming back in popularity as people are moving away from complicated tillers and gasoline and more towards human powered gardening.

It’s a fantastic tool for a larger space.

8. Wheelbarrow.

A wheelbarrow allows you to move amendments around. You can load it up with soil, your potting soil, manure or whatever you’re going to spread around the garden.

It allows you to move a lot more than you can by just holding sacks or buckets, or whatever else. Wheelbarrow is a really good tool.

You may need to make garden paths at least two to three foot wide, so you can move through easily with a wheelbarrow.
9. Broadfork.

The broadfork breaks the ground to 14 inches and the Meadow Creature broadfork is the unbreakable one. There are other broadforks in the world, and most of them have wooden handles or the tines are a little weaker.

With a broadfork you can pry out boulders with it, snap tree roots, slam the tool into the ground, rock it back and forth, and you break the ground.

It is the most fantastic tool and the reason most people don’t have it is it costs like 200 bucks but it’s like a piece of tractor equipment. Once you buy it it’s not going to break easily and lasts very long.

These are your nine top human power tools that will get you through a large scale disaster or at least through gardening without filling the air with carbon dioxide and smoke.

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