Open Source Tooth Bar Bucket: LifeTrac Sinks Its Teeth In the Ground

Digging with the tooth bar bucket on LifeTrac was a major success.

We’ve already described the open source tooth bar in a previous post. Here is the tooth-barred bucket in action.

We have fixed minor problems with LifeTrac, including a frame that cracked in half. One can say this is field testing for real – open source tractor, backhoe, tooth bar bucket, rototiller. Problems come up, problems are solved. Yes, I said minor problems. It took me two days to fix it and and fabricate a new part – on an issue that could have been a major setback in the project – as we had with our former industrial tractor. This is a beautiful example of post-industrial eco-technology in the making. Post-industrial – in sociological terms – means that the distinction between master and servant is clear. The promise of human-centered technology is delivered in practice.

We are now in the dirt digging for gold: soil for CEB construction. In the short time before it rained, we have dug enough soil for about 600 bricks.

Then the most unique event happened in our orchard – as also shown in the video. One of our orchard apple trees – it’s blooming in November!

That is absolutely inspiring. It just shows a reality: anything can happen at any time. The world is full of mutants, freaks, alternatives, surprises, expanded consciousnesses, and other things tucked under the rug. Homogenization may be a major mainstream ill – but good old diversity always wins. The only constant is change itself. I’m interested in hearing other stories like this – with plants or other topics.


  1. Benkay

    everything is possible!

  2. Lucas

    I’ve also seen you’re not quite done with filling up the donation jar for this month. A week to go, so people, go fund this.

    Evolution in real time! Riding ocean waves on a surf board doesn’t look so exciting after seeing this! My English fails me: it’s not “well done” ‘cos it’s not done yet. It’s “well doing”!

    Thanks for the videos. Much appreciated.

    I’ll run and write about you, and also set up a permanent link at the top of the blog. Anyone can help these folks have a copyable icon or something of that sort?

  3. Sasha

    Nothing too much unusual, i think people here ( folk tradition) say that this predicts a long and cold winter, but its nice to see this and see you inspired by this. I’ve seen things like this… Only the bees are missing, btw. are your hives alive? My bees are stil flying around at noon. its inspirational to know that nature doesnt follow strict codes but allows for such exceptions. In fact I think this is very good because by acting so, nature percepts unperceptable and gets ready for anything. Maybe OSE is such a blossom in cold desert of contemporary america and globe? May it be so and a messenger of a warm spring – this planets need it soon.

  4. Erik


    I just found out about I greatly admire your open work. I’m working with the RepRap project to build a 3D printer. This would seem like one of the more useful machines that you could have. For stronger objects, you could even use 3D prints for lost model casting of metals.

    Its primary feedstock is PLA (polylactic acid) that can be made by fermenting starch. The feedstock is bought now, but it could be home-grown plastics. I’d like to learn more about the process of doing this without specialized tools (in a domestic context). This is because it should be transferable. Perhaps it is of interest to you too.

    Best regards from the Netherlands,


    P.s. to read more about the RepRap Open Source 3D printer:

  5. Marcin


    Thanks for contacting us. We have RepRap as a priority high on the
    list, and are highly interested in our collaboration with RepRap. What
    is the present status of performance? What is the object size that can
    be printed successfully and replicably today? What is the replicable
    resolution? I am particularly interested in metal casting molds.

    We have considered RepRap in mold making for metal casting. The
    present application is a steam engine for our Solar Turbine project –

    We have a design for a 3kW system that costs $3k in materials. We
    believe that we are near absolute breakthrough in delivering a
    replicable solar electic energy system.

    I will be writing a proposal for the turbine soon – based on our
    learnings from the implementation convergence.

    Are you by any chance available to visit us for 2 weeks and build
    RepRap with us? I could also consider going to visit you, in order to
    come home with a working RepRap. We are willing to pay to have one
    built for us if it meets our requirements.

    Let me know your thoughts. RepRap is the most exotic, cutting edge
    open source project that I know of, and it has huge potential for
    significant economic impact on society.

    [email protected]
    Open Source Ecology

  6. Marcin

    PS. I just set up a RepRap page at the Open Source Ecology wiki:

  7. Lucas

    I just commented on the openfarmtech reprap convergence in my Spanish blog, of course suggesting people might want to chip in so we can all continue enjoying the show, and soon the technology itself.

  8. […] to sub-centimeter size. Last year, we struggled on this part – first with digging the soil with the toothbar bucket and then using small rototillers to work through our piles of earth. Many times, the soil was too […]

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