The first time I heard about, it was in the Eliot Coleman’s Four Season Gardening book a few years ago. A broadfork is a big fork used mainly to break the soil and improve aeration and drainage by leaving the soil layers intact. No tilling or double-digging needed. In the organic gardening movement this is a must to have. Some sturdier broadforks can be used, for example, to remove turf, dig out blackberry roots, help to pull out quack grass and bermuda grass, dig up trees or root veggies, and prying out boulders. Compared to my garden forged spading fork, the work is much easier and faster.
Many models exist on the market. Some are shown below.
Gulland Forge Broadfork
Johnny Seed Broadfork
I decided to go with a Vashon Broadfork, an heavy duty model.
The model you buy will depend of the use you intend to impose on your broadfork. The one with thinner tines (teeth) can only be used in lighter soil, vs the one with bigger tines that can break turf in clay soil.
Some other advantages to use a broadfork are: good form of exercise and will lighten your wallet by about 200$+ shipping.
To use a broadfork to loose soil is easy. In short…
1. Step on the bar to push down the tines in the soil.
2. Hold on the handle bars and pull back until you reach a 45 degree angle.
3. Pull the broad fork out.
4. Step back few inches.