Mantis Tiller Perfect For Some SPIN-Farming Contexts

Courtesy of James K., Virtually Green, San Francisco CA

The Mantis comes in two versions.

– Electric
– Gasoline

The electric is the far better choice if you have a power socket nearby. The gasoline version is noisy and not very powerful.

The torque on the electric is enormous. It easily can churn 10 inches deep through hard packed soil and has no problem spitting up large rocks. If you’re using it heavily it may periodically trip its internal circuit breaker when it gets too hot: just wait a few minutes, hit the breaker reset button and resume tilling.

It’s small and light enough to take on a bus carried over one shoulder. A guaranteed conversation starter.

Very sturdy. Have been using one now since 2009 and it’s still going strong.

It’s no substitute for a BCS for larger plots, but for small plots or rooftop use it’s excellent.

Several other SPIN farmers weighed in favorably on the Mantis. Linda Borghi at Abundant Life Farm in Walker Valley NY love love loves hers.

SPIN photo mantis 4


Use the Mantis for Tilling Raised Beds

Courtesy of James K., Virtually Green, San Francisco, CA

It’s still possible to rototill in raised beds if you use an electric tiller like the Mantis. Rototillers are major labor savers. I have one that I’ve used in beds for some years. Incredible torque. Good depth: up to 10″, though with a limiter I usually use it at
just a few inches depth for prepping beds for replanting. A set of simple L-shaped brackets bolted to the tiller tine shield front, back and sides can help prevent the tiller tines from gouging the raised bed frame sides or ends. The tiller is light too: I carry it one-handed over my shoulder.