Peter Smith tells the story behind this potato-digging fork, which dates back to the days when men would travel by horseback from one camp to the next, earning money digging crops by hand.

The fork was first used in 1933, when Gordon Hayden took it to his first job away from his home in Dorrigo, NSW. He travelled to Ebor to dig spuds, starting at dawn each day. Gordon went on to be a well known dairy farmer, sawmiller and potato grower in the Dorrigo area.

When Gordon was near the end of his life, he gave the fork to Peter, who grows vegetables on his property in Burragate on the NSW far south coast. They don’t make tools like this anymore – 80 years after it was first used, the fork has minimal signs of wear.

Peter is a small-scale grower who values the education he received from an older generation of farmers, and the direct connection with the soil you can only get by working with hand tools.

Video Credits – Vanessa Milton, Open Producer, ABC Open South East NSW

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