As a professional gardener, I am very particular about picking out the best tools for the job. Two tools that are always with me on a job site are the HERShovel and HERSpadingfork. If you have any women in your life who love to garden, these would make perfect gifts for the holidays. For a post with more gardener gift ideas, go to Tools of the Trade.
Designed by Green Heron Tools , a woman owned and operated business, the HerShovel is my go-to tool for any type of digging. The company is owned by avid gardeners Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger, and they designed and tested the first shovel themselves, and call it the HERShovel. Started in 2008 in nearby Pennsylvania, Green Heron Tools, has been featured in Organic Gardening Magazine. The shovel/spade is engineered to maximize the power and the lower center of gravity of a women’s body and has a great hand feel. Tools aren’t unisex as any woman can attest trying to use a large and heavy shovel.
Designed as a shovel/spade hybrid, The shovel is light weight and has a large convenient digging handle and comes in 3 shaft sizes. I am 5’3″ tall and the middle size was perfect for me. The price is $67, which I thought was reasonable for a well made tool. Most of the professional shovels that I have used tend to be very heavy, and the light weight of this shovel was an eye opener. Green Heron sells other products from different companies made for women, but the shovel is one that they designed themselves. Their mission is to make ergonomic tools available to women to make heavy jobs easier on the body. As I get older, I appreciate this goal.
I have used the shovel for years. And now they have come out with the Spading Fork or the HERSpadingfork and I love using this for digging/dividing up perennial roots and dahlia tubers. See my video below on digging up dahlia tubers using the HERSpadingfork .
The large non-slip step provides stability and the over-sized handle allows you to grip it with two hands to add more leverage to your digging. There are three shaft sizes to match your height so you end up with a custom designed tool for your size. A little more expensive at $85, probably because of the diamond-backed tines which slice quickly through my heavy soil, I would love seeing this under my Christmas tree!
Adams & Brensinger’s tips to using tools smartly and safely:
- Make sure a tool fits your body. Out-of-proportion tools can cause injury
- Look for tools that are comfortable to hold and easy to use. A tool shouldn’t be so heavy that using it will cause fatigue or strain.
- Look for textured hand grips to minimize clenching and keep hands from slipping and remain in a neutral position
- Look for large treads on tools such as shovels and digging forks to keep your foot from sliding off