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2 months ago

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I have been searching the archives, and only found lots of questions about the Pioneer Homesteader in the first year or two after it was developed. For those that purchased it, what do you think now? Is it worth it?

I’ve read that success seems to be based on your terrain and conditions. We are considering purchasing one to use in a small (less than 2 acres) market garden and possibly a small (1-2 acres) grain field. We live on heavy clay, Virgin, Unworked soil. That being said, we won’t be plowing much in our soil, but we do like to attend plow days in nearby fields of well-worked black soil. On our property, we would be using more of the cultivator on compost amended soils, the potato digger, discer, and hiller. The concept seems to fit our needs perfectly, but the question is....what is the reality?

Uncle Joe says 2017-10-23 21:00:55 (CST)



I look forward to reading about the experiences Homesteader owners have had.

Pioneer recently made some improvements to the machine, adding coil springs to the frame and lowering the evener attachment point closer to where the plow, cultivator shovel, or other tillage tool works the soil, improving the line of draft.

The most common complaint I have heard from users is the inability to break hard ground with the plow. It performs well in soil that is worked every year but can have trouble with sod for example.

I was at Pioneer a few days ago and they had several Homesteaders ready to ship. It continues to be popular, especially for teamsters with smaller horses.


2 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Uncle Joe says 2017-10-24 13:38:02 (CST)



Here are a few photos of the Homesteader in Pioneer's showroom.


2 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2017-10-31 08:26:37 (CST)



So we’ve been researching the Homesteader pretty intensely, trying to figure out whatever we can without actually using one (or even seeing one since no one in our area seems to have one). Based on what I have heard on forums, our Amish friend summarized it best.....he said the plow stinks except for soft, well-worked, loamy soil. The discer doesn’t glide well since it is attached rather than hinged to the frame, but it’s effectiveness is a matter of opinion based on the desired goals. He said the hiller and cultivator were awesome, did their job well, and were perfect for a market garden. He also said the potato plow was the absolute best digger he had ever used in his life. He claimed the advantage was in being able to steer the Homesteader with the foot pedals, which keep the plow in the center of the bed. He said it was also great for digging planting furrows nice and evenly. We are leaning heavily towards purchasing it, so now just have to decide which attachments we want. I wish more folks were out there to chime in. I think I am going to do some research on market gardeners and see if I can track down someone with one to discuss further.


2 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-11-08 18:53:08 (CST)



Mark Trapp a draft horse farmer currently market gardening in the Cuyahoga Conservancy at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, started with and uses a Pioneer Homesteader as his primary tillage tool. I am sure that he would discuss it with you. Trapp Family Farm. Here is a link
www.conservancyforcvnp.org
The park is located near Cleveland Ohio, sort of between there and Akron Ohio. I hope this helps


2 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-11-27 07:32:50 (CST)



We've had a Homesteader for a couple years. As others have posted, the plow is problematic. Just not enough weight and bite to turn ground effectively. (I think it's only a 10" plow, but I can't remember.) As for other implements, the disc hiller is quite good and works as it should. Same for the cultivator. I largely bought it since I was having a hard time finding an old McD cultivator in good condition to replace my old one, on which the axle seems to have cracked. I don't have any of the other implements that fit the Homesteader, although I specifically avoided the disc harrow since it didn't seem the best solution. There are other small discs out there that fill this gap more effectively.

This all said, one of the biggest obstacles is swapping out the implement parts. Something like the disc hiller isn't too much of an issue since it's relatively light. But taking a heavier bit like the plow on and off is a bit of a wrestling match. For the most part, I time it so that I need to swap out bits as little as possible. There's definitely a trick to it and it takes a little practice and usually a bit more than a few minutes.

Pioneer made it so it's one size fits most. If you have Fjords it's perfect. If you have a great big team of Percherons, they might be a little cramped up front. Still, it's adjustable to some degree (with tongue length and angle) and I recognize nothing is perfect. It also has adjustable wheel width. Although for something like the cultivator, you need the wheels at the widest setting.

I've read of folks handy with a torch making their own implement bits to fit the Homesteader which, if one has the right skill set, makes it a decent platform for experimenting. I think it would make a very good seeder (so hard to find a good corn planter these days) and I believe Pioneer even experimented with this. Somewhere on the vast internet there's a photo of one fit out with what looks to be a Jang seeder. But I asked Pioneer and I guess it stayed in the experimental stage. But they're always coming out with new things, so I don't think they've given up on the idea.

Would I buy another one? Maybe. Although I've also toyed with selling mine as the primary usage is now only for hilling and cultivating. I think if one only works a smaller plot, has small to mid-size team, then it's a good fit. The tool will last a hundred years so it's certainly well made. But if your goal is to work more than a few acres, plowing every spring or fall, and hope to find one tool that does it all, you'll end up wanting more than just the Homesteader.


1 month ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum


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