Eileen Fisher (November 2012)
EILEEN FISHER, the women's clothing retailer, today announced the recipients of the 2012 EILEEN FISHER Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs. Now in its ninth year, the Business Grant Program is awarded annually to wholly women-owned businesses that are innovative and foster environmental and economic health in their communities. The committee received more than 1,600 applications and awarded grants to five businesses.
Sanne Kure-Jensen (November 24, 2012)
Working carefully, taking care of your bones and muscles, helps extend the years you can keep doing what you love: farming, gardening and living well. “Good body mechanics are critical,” said Ann Adams & Liz Brensinger, from Green Heron Tools, in a webinar hosted by the UVM Extension New Farmer Project.
Lisa Kivirist of Hobby Farm Home (March/April 2012)
While the number of women farmers increased by a record 30 percent between 2OO2 and 2007, according to the last USDA Census of Agriculture, you wouldn't know it by the farm tools available at most retailers. Most items, particularly hand tools, are still designed with the male body in mind.
Read the entire article (pdf)
Cindy Briggs, staff/volunteer of the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati (March 2012)
I have fallen in love with a shovel. Finally.
As an able-bodied woman of average height and weight and shape (pear, thank you very much), who is perfectly capable of double digging a garden bed or digging a deep hole for a tree or shoveling mulch and/or cow manure into a wheelbarrow (in fact, likes to do such things) if given a satisfactory shovel, I have found myself, all of my gardening life, tossing man-sized shovels into a corner after a couple of hours of work, muttering off-color epithets, and reaching for Tylenol. The typical shovel...
Therese Ciesinski of Organic Gardening (Jan 2012)
Try to name some gardening tools made specifically for women. Pink ones don't count. Think of any? If you did, tell Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, because they'd like to sell them. In 2008, they founded Green Heron Tools to offer high-quality, sustainably made gardening equipment to women gardeners and farmers. But they ran into a snag that sounds like the setup to a joke: Two women start a company to sell women's tools, then can't find any to sell.
Green Heron Tools goes international! HERS & GHT founders Ann & Liz are featured in the December issue of the Japanese magazine SPUR. The piece, written by L.A.-based journalist Miho Nagano, is the lead-in to several other articles about women, farming & the food supply.
Cathie Draine, member of the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the Garden Writers' Association (Nov 17, 2011)
There are a number of reasons why I am a fan of (well, ok - addicted to) excellent garden tools. I want something thoughtfully engineered of superior materials, easily maintained and correct for the task. I also want a tool that will not hurt me. I prefer not to be cut, sprained, broken or otherwise muscularly impaired by some piece of the daintily decorated junk tools most often marketed "especially for women."
And then, I received information about the new HERShovel developed and marketed by Liz Brensinger and Ann Adams of Green Heron Tools in Pennsylvania...
Female Farmers: The New Food Industry Frontier
by Claire Gordon, AOL / Huffington Post (Sept 12, 2011)
When Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger started farming as a side job in 1995, they couldn't produce enough food. They wanted better tools. A rototiller that wasn't so unwieldy. A shovel that they could easily plunge into the earth. Farm equipment was designed for men, they realized, and men's bodies were different.
Why, they asked, does chicken feed have to come in 50-pound bags
Great Farming and Gardening Tools for Women
Interview by Megan Phelps, Mother Earth News (Feb 14, 2011)
The owners of Green Heron Tools talk about their research on women and tool use, and the need to design farm and garden tools with women in mind.
Ann and Liz, who both come from public health backgrounds, have been examining the general problem of how to make tools more ergonomic to prevent injuries. But their main focus is on a specific issue: Helping women find farm and garden tools that are better suited to their needs. This means tools that are appropriately sized for a woman’s height and arm length, but also tools found to be more ergonomic and efficient, based on field testing by female farmers and gardeners.
I recently followed up with Ann and Liz to learn more about their business, and their research on women and tools. Here’s what they had to say...
Designed for Women Farmers
by Margaret Gates, Regional Editor of Lancaster Farming News(October
When Liz Brensinger and Ann Adams started Green Heron Tools, they thought they would simply pool together in one place all the tools available specifically for women farmers. Only one problem — there weren’t any. And so began the odyssey...
"lf you want something done,. do it yourself." The idea that that well-worn expression might apply to us and the design of agricultural tools and equipment would have struck us as crazy just a few years ago.
Women make do. That's what they do. When something doesn't work, they make it work; because at the end of the day, things need to get done. And the garden is no exception. As ladies have twisted, pulled, pushed, and toiled in the soil over the centuries, they've done so largely with the aid of tools designed for men.
"The Invisible Woman - or, Should Women in Agriculture Be Forced
to Work with Tools Designed by and for Men?"
by Liz Brensinger, Co-owner of Green Heron Tools
Women, Food & Agriculture Network, Quarterly Newsletter (Spring
Book? Movie? Superhero? How about farmer? (Better yet: farming superhero!)
Despite the vital and ever-growing role of women in agriculture and the passionate advocacy of groups like WFAN, there’s at least one area in which women farmers have remained practically invisible until very recently: the realm of agricultural tools and equipment.
Green Heron Tools was created as a vehicle for supporting women farmers by providing better, more appropriate tools and equipment.
Tools designed for women are becoming a reality, thanks to the vision of two women, Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger, of New Tripoli, PA. In fact, they have stated their mission on the internet for all to see:
To provide high quality agricultural and gardening tools and equipment designed to work with women's bodies, thereby maximizing comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety.