"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." -Seneca
We have been using, importing and selling the paper chain pot transplanting system since 2006.
We own and operate a small, certified organic vegetable farm in Wisconsin. We learned about the paper pot system while living in Japan for a year in 2005. (Our farm fields were resting under cover crops while we were away).
We were in Japan helping lay the foundation for the sister city relationship between Madison and Obihiro, a small town on Japan's northern Island of Hokkaido. Small farms abound in Japan and so I started investigating what tools and equipment were available. I was intrigued by some small, grainy photos of a machine that appeared to be transplanting crops. I had my wife translate the page and, intrigued, we contacted the company, which just happened to be located in Obihiro. We met with representatives of the company and got more information and were invited to visit their Research and Development facility.
We were told that the facility was difficult to find and were instructed to meet our hosts at the train station downtown and were then driven to the facility. Ironically, the R&D facility happened to be just a few blocks from the house we were renting! It was behind some old industrial buildings so the greenhouse and small field could not be seen from the road.
Our jaws dropped upon seeing the transplanter in action. I immediately told the company that I wanted to buy one to take back to my farm. I also told them that I would be interested in selling them to other farmers because this seemed like a perfect tool to replace back- and knee-breaking work.
Upon returning to Wisconsin, we then set out to create Small Farm Works, a business committed to small-scale, sustainable farming practices and tools.
We now have customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. We believe that appropriate technology has an important role to play in helping make small farms profitable and enjoyable.
Organic Farmer, Educator, and Small Farm Enthusiast