In the first picture Tillers Mozambique staff Faricai and Maza are working on the planter. The next image shows John and Dave working perhaps at an earlier stage. Below can be seen the completed planter being tested in the fields around the learning center in Chimoio. Dave has informed us that other activities are taking place as well. He recently wrote, “We got another welder going and I think we welded up about 300 rings (yoke hardware) today. John showed me a jig he made the last time he was here for bending flat bar into tubing, and we used it to make hubs for the ripper wheels. That went well. We have parts cut for two rippers and hope to get them welded up and ready to try out by Monday.”
Dave wrote previously, “It is still really hot here and we are still waiting for the big rains to start…. it drizzles a little bit in the mornings but not for long and it is not widespread. The maize at the center could really use some rain. We were out checking prices today on tools and materials… I think Maza and Faricai took John and I to every hardware and tool store in Chimoio. I have 10 pages of items and prices in my notebook. I’m sure Brian will want us to select the cheapest priced items from 8 different stores.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, Dave reported, “We have been testing the ripper. Had a hard time getting it to sink in two days ago. The ground at the center is still really dry and hard. Not much rain, so it is a good test for the ripper. We angled the point down a few more degrees yesterday and it sunk right in down to the wheels. The big team, Manica and Nice, were pulling it. The first time it hit a big root, the mild steel ripper shank bent. We tried heating it and hardening it in salty soap water, but in the afternoon Fanta and Sadza also ended up bending it, so Faracai is going to look for some springs for us today. We made some wings to bolt onto it yesterday. It is really nice having John here to work on the rippers, too. Dr. Mzinga would like us to try making a narrow crimper to go between rows. John has a great idea for a manure spreader to attach to one of the carts that we hope to try while we are here…. and we have been sketching and talking about ideas for weeders we want to try. We are having fun… it would be nice to get some rain.”