As farm/garden tool designers, we may have a bias for tools developed by people who do farm/garden work, but the Valley Oak Wheel Hoe has so much going for it, it’s hard to know where to begin. So let’s start by acknowledging the thoughtful work of David Grau, an organic vegetable farmer and founder of Valley Oak Tools in Chico, CA. We love that David shares a passion for sustainability, ergonomics and local food and that he so clearly values quality and durability.
The Valley Oak Wheel Hoe is a universally great tool for small farms and gardens. Women, in particular, will love this versatile tool because it’s…
- Lightweight, less than 15 lbs. and easy to control; comfortable enough for all day operation (though we always suggest changing up tasks throughout the day)
- Easy to assemble and change attachments; the cam lever adjusts the handle height quickly, no tools needed. The attachments are put on and removed with the simple release of a pin.
- The handles are close together, at 16”, which makes it easier on the shoulders, especially for people with smaller frames
- It’s efficient, the user essentially weeds by walking — what could be more efficient than that?!
- No more bending or getting down on your knees to weed
- It’s quiet
More good stuff:
The wheel hoe is multipurpose – weeds, makes furrows and loosens compacted soil and moves closely alongside fences and edging to clear weeds. It’s built with sustainability in mind, requires no fossil fuels to operate and is American made. It would be tough to lose the powder-coated, bright blue attachments in the field. The less than $300 invested will easily come back to you in time and pain/strain free garden work.
What Green Heron Tools’ customers are saying:
“I used the Valley Oak wheel hoe all season and it was by far my favorite cultivating hoe. It’s durable, takes a beating, and was death on weeds. Being 5’10”, it is so wonderful to have a tool that doesn’t break my back after use on several beds. Thank you Green Heron Tools!” — Victoria Ligon, 2011 apprentice, The Seed Farm, Lehigh County, PA
“Indestructible, adjustable handles, lightweight, easy-to-change implements, the most valuable tool on my farm!” –- Elizabeth H., North Carolina (online survey respondent)
“Adjustable, can get your weight behind it instead of up in the air above shoulder height as in the others I’ve used, plus great attachments! Awesome for a short woman. . . .We use this wheel hoe a lot and love it!” — Sherri S., non-profit farming collective, California (online survey respondent & , later, interview subject)
“My favorite tool” –- Angela T., Iowa farmer (focus group participant)
For more info, check out the links:
Considering purchasing the wheelhoe? Our frequently asked questions page is a great place to find out how to decide on blade size, get the right attachments and pneumatic or steel tire and how best to operate the tool:
What sets the VOWH apart from other wheel hoes:
Maintenance and use:
Ann, co-owner of Green Heron Tools demonstrates weeding, while Liz, co-owner, provides commentary: