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Farming Tools Made By Women, For Women

(Photo: Green Heron Tools)

When Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger created Green Heron Farms on their property in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, they promptly experienced a serious problem: many of the farming and gardening tools commonly available were made for men's bodies. In particular, they expected users to have a certain height and weight that Adams and Brensinger didn't have.

So the two launched Green Heron Tools, a company that designs and sells farming tools built with women's bodies in mind. Civil Eats explains why these modified tools are important:

“Before, a shovel was a shovel, with a handle that was usually too tall for me to use with any real dexterity and a blade that often cut into the soles of my shoes over time as I dug,” says Liz.

She adds: “I’ve met people who feel like using a different tool expresses weakness, and I think when I first moved into this field, I felt similarly. It’s an ego thing, [but] not realistic when you look at the science and see the differences in our body structure.”

“The HERShovel has completely changed the way I use this type of tool,” says Danielle Marvit, a former organic grower and herdswoman, who is currently the production manager for Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery in Pittsburgh. “It has been great for my body, and it is the most efficient shovel I have ever used.”

-via Modern Farmer

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Neatorama addressed such situations quite succinctly, previously:

I was surprised to find out that women can't rotate their wrists... I can't imagine any other reason they need "patented" D-handle shovels. Of course men's D-handle shovels come in every length imaginable... And if they didn't, you need only remove one screw/bolt/rivet, cut the handle to length, then drill a new hole and reattach the D-handle. Basic shovels require even fewer steps to shorten (and lighten)!

I'm sadly NOT surprised that they sell for $70 each, while a similar shovel, designed to punish women for leaving the kitchen, sells for under $20 just about everywhere. Is women exploiting other women, for profits, a form of empowerment and social justice, too?

For any ladies out there... Not only can you choose between a wide array of shovel styles at any hardware store, and shorten handles as needed with minimal effort... But you can also investigate options like lightweight folding shovels, designed for hiking, yet tough enough for soldiers to dig fox holes for survival.
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I solved a similar problem (handles too short) with household cleaning tools (brooms, mops, etc.) by buying from janitorial supply houses. I applaude people who capitalize on a niche market.
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