Ladies, does using your shovel leave you with an aching back and quivering biceps?
No, you’re not weak, as some might claim. Instead, the problem is probably that not all garden and farm tools are created equal and just about all of them are created by — and for — men.
If you’re tired of this inequality, you’re not alone.
That’s where Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger come in. Twenty-year veteran farmers, they started their company, Green Heron Tools, back in 2008 after talking to several of their female farming counterparts. Adams says, “At the farmers markets, we got together with other women producers or couples farming, and the topic of tools constantly came up.”
“Some of the tools didn’t work because they were designed for men,” Adams explained to Modern Farmer. “We saw a need for a place where women could go for tools that work for their bodies.”
Using a USDA grant, Adams and Brensinger took this idea to occupational therapy and engineering experts to help design their line of tools (which aren’t pink, by the way), which includes a wide variety of equipment useful for anything from simple gardening to serious farming. Their HERS shovel, for example, has a handle designed for smaller hands, and the tweaked design — including an enlarged blade with tread — helps women take advantage of their lower body muscles.
While not all items sold through Green Heron Tools are designed by the company, all have been tested and recommended by women.
According to Grist, the number of women in agriculture is on the rise, so there’s a growing market for female friendly farm tools. And thanks to some smart thinking, now there are implements just for them.