"This tool is lightweight, sturdy, and easy to work into the ground. At $65, it’s not cheap, but it may be one of the most worthwhile garden tools you ever buy."
Megan E. Phelps, in "We Dig the HERS Shovel from Green Heron Tools
Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014 issue of Mother Earth News
"Excellent tool, my wife and I love it, and yes, I use it too as it is great for anyone who wants to save their back, knees, and other areas that don't always cooperate as one ages!"
Sam Leizear, Morgantown, WV, via Facebook
Nov. 21, 2013
(Sam's wife, Laura Lynn, was the very first purchaser of HERS when we introduced it in 2011)
"My husband got me a HERS shovel for Christmas a few years ago. It's awesome -- the best (garden) investment we ever made."
Kim Richter, Durham, NC, in person at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Assn. annual conference
Nov. 17, 2013
"I bought your shovel at the Mother Earth News Fair and just had to call and thank you. My feet don't hurt and my back doesn't hurt. I'm going to tell all of my Master Gardener friends about it."
Rose Eckman, Hunker, PA, via telephone
Sept. 25, 2013
"I bought HERS for myself for Mother's Day. It's the greatest shovel ever!"
Sara Bozzelli, Five Elements Farm, Worthington, PA, in-person comment at Mother Earth News Fair
Sept. 21, 2013
"HERS is definitely ergonomic, definitely easier on the hands and back. . . I could call it foot- and joint-friendly. We actually hide it from the guys, because they lose things. We tell them, 'you can't use our shovel.' As you can tell, we value it highly!"
Lisa Purcell, Williamsburg, PA, in-person comment at Mother Earth News Fair (Note: Lisa was one of the first HERS purchasers and has owned the shovel since it was introduced in September, 2011)
Sept. 22, 2013
Jake Sproul, West Virginia, in-person comment at Mother Earth News Fair
Sept. 21, 2013
"Received my shovel and LOVE it! What a great creation. Bought this one for my daughter; when she moves out, I will have to order another one for myself."
Linda Fox, Rochester, NY, via email
July 22, 2013
"I bought four shovels, and my daughters and I love them!"
Melba Shewmaker, Bentonville, AR, via telephone
July 8, 2013
"I love my HERShovel! I admit I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, a shovel is a shovel, right? The minute I picked up my new HERShovel I realized that this shovel is something entirely new and wonderful. To begin with, picking it up isn't an effort. Next, you become aware that the distance between your hands and the ground is comfortable. Your body makes a comparison, and you feel how your shoulders aren't all hunched up. You lift, and the lifting is easy. And now you realize that part of what made all the thousands of previous shovelfuls of soil you've lifted so heavy was not the soil, but the shovel itself."
"Green Heron Tools has done the research, the math, the science. Out of that they've created a tool that not only does the work but feels really good to use."
Trebbe Johnson, Thompson, PA, via email
July 5, 2013
"Back in February I ordered one of your wonderful shovels. Just found a note on my desk to call and let you know how I like it. Well, I love it. It just feels perfect. Thank you very much"
Linda Campbell, Pine City, NY, via telephone message
June 18, 2013
"I received HERShovel as a gift and wanted to call to let you know how much I'm enjoying it. I really like the large handle, the shorter shank, the widened step at the top of the blade. I've used it for digging, for spreading mulch . . . It's easy to handle, just perfect for women. Thank you for designing such a great product."
Pat Schmuldt, Lombard, IL, via telephone
June 3, 2013
"Last year I purchased a HERS petite shovel. I have been digging in Minnesota prairie soil for 54 years, and that shovel is making it possible for me to enjoy another 54. . . Whoever designed the shovel deserves a design award for bending over the foot shelf at the top. Second place goes to the person who made a handle at the top. I've had no difficulties keeping a sharp edge once I managed to hone down that incredibly beefy material on the blade. The fact that it came sized for someone 5'3" is also greatly appreciated. I had not realized how marginally adequate every other shovel design is until I worked with yours. This is not a small improvement in my life. . . . We've spent 23 years making the farm what it is today, but the first thoughts of selling to downsize had crossed my mind. I haven't thought that once this spring. And I do thank you for it."
Wendy Wustenberg, Farmington, MN, via website comment
May 24, 2013
"Great shovel. I was able to complete tasks that I couldn't do with our regular shovel. Pros: Cuts through soil easily; light; shorter handle; wide grip. Cons: None. Best uses: Edging flower beds; throwing mulch."
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. -- "Eastern Shore Max," Chestertown, MD
Review posted on Gardener's Supply Co. website
May 16, 2013
"I absolutely love my HERShovel. Have had it one full growing season now. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I have had two artificial knees now for nine years. Prior to that and up until I had my HERShovel, I had to have my husband dig the holes for my plants. The foot plate on a regular shovel was way too narrow and I always thought my foot would slip. This past season, I started two new beds containing about two dozen plants and I dug all of the holes myself with the confidence I could do it. That plus the proper length and weight made all the difference in the world and made me independent. Thanks, Green Heron Tools! Keep up the good work."
Gwenne Baile, Westmont, N.J., via Facebook
February 1, 2013
"We're loving the HERShovels! We had to turn over some nasty frozen ground to plant donated plants from MANTS (Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show), and even our big burly guys liked the shovel. Those HERShovels . . . our crew will be fighting over them. Please make more tools -- we love your shovels!"
Dianne Wheaton, Director of Parks and Plazas, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, via phone
February 1, 2013
"I just wanted to tell you how much I love my HERS shovel. I'm a professional gardener, and I use it all the time. I'm 5'2", and it's the first shovel I've ever used that fits comfortably and leverages the strength in my legs. Thank you so much for creating such a fantastic product."
Amy Mullen, Lead Designer and Urban Farmgirl, Spotts Garden Service, Indianapolis, IN, via web comment form
December 5, 2012
"I told you I would call you after I used your shovel, so here I am. I really like it. I ordered blackberries and was able to use a shovel for the first time in my life. I planted my blackberries -- I don't have great balance, so I leaned a little to the left if I used my right foot, and a little to the right if I used my left foot -- but I was able to pick up compost and put it in there and plant my blackberries, all by my little self. Thank you very much; I love it."
Betty Briscoe, St. Louis, MO, via voicemail
October 25, 2012
"I used my new shovel today, to dig up some horseradish root, and while I was at it, a mulberry tree that was getting pretty big. If you think that a shovel built for women wouldn't make much difference, you'd be amazed. The steps at the top of the shovel made it possible for me to stand on it with both feet. I could choose one of three lengths based on my height. I love this shovel!"
Tina Sams, Editor in Chief, The Essential Herbal, Lancaster, PA. posted on Facebook
October 17, 2012
Then, in a later post the same day: "There are a lot of shovels here on the farm. Good ones. But I never realized that they make me feel like a little kid trying to step up onto the edge, and then swinging around hanging on to the handle, losing my balance over and over again. This one somehow gives you complete control and balance. Shocking, really."
"I love mine, and take it with me to farm field days to show other women."
Maggie Robertson, Sligo, PA, posted on Facebook
October 17, 2012
In an earlier Facebook post (June 25), Maggie wrote: "I'm getting great use from my HERS shovel this spring, planting all of the remaining plants from my greenhouse. With 4 inch pots I do actually have to dig a hole, and even in my clay soil this shovel makes the job easier!"
"I really like it. It's so much easier to use than other shovels."
Terri Klatko, Brookville, PA. Told to us at the 2012 Mother Earth News Fair
"I purchased the HERS shovel about a month ago when I needed to plant two small trees in my backyard. I had a shovel that I had gotten from a local supply store and found it to be too heavy and the handle too thick for comfortable use. I was looking for something better when I saw the HERS shovel. At first glance I could see the many improvements over my regular old shovel so I had to try it out. I love that the shovel is light yet strong and durable. The handle has enough room for me to put both hands but is not uncomfortably thick. The best part, however, is the bigger step on the blade. I’ve had a sore foot from repetitive use of other shovels with no step so this feature alone is amazing. I am so glad to have a tool with features that will help me to continue to do what I love safely, efficiently, and with less stress to my body. So thanks so much for all the research and design that went into the HERS shovel and thank you for carrying other great tools!"
Valerie Garcia, Natural Agriculture Intern, The Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA, sent via email
August 1, 2012
"If you've never owned a HERS shovel-spade, you're missing out on a great shovel."
Barb Baker, Lancaster, PA, posted on Facebook
June 28, 2012
"I LOVE my new shovel."
Catherine Spencer, Red Hook, NY, via email
June 27, 2012
"I purchased a HERS shovel, an Adventure hat and a Hori Hori knife. I love all three, and use them almost exclusively! Thanks for the wonderful products."
Sondra Marshall, Erie, PA, via Facebook message
June 27, 2012
"I bought 1 of your shovels (Large-I'm 5'8") awhile back & I love it. (Got the extra D handle also.) My husband has tried it too but he is 6'4" and the handle is too short for him. He would love to have 1 with a longer handle. Any chance you'll be offering 1 (say XL) anytime soon?"
Toni M., Texas, via email
June 27, 2012
"I LOVE your HERS shovel"
Gail Lapierre, Burlington, VT, via email
June 5, 2012
"About the shovel...I really love it! I have been working in the yard a lot. I have not had ANY back trouble and digging IS EASIER."
Linda Glaeser, Fredericksburg, VA, via email
May 20, 2012
"Probably the best tool I ever had -- highly recommended"
Anita Keating, Macungie, PA, via telephone while ordering HERS for her sister
May 10, 2012
"I love the way HERS works and how it fits me. I'm only 5', so the fact that it comes in sizes is amazing."
Sara E. Smith, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham, N.C., via email
May 3, 2012
Finally, a Shovel That Works!
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...
Written by Cindy Briggs
March 30, 2012
"I ordered your shovel several months ago with eager anticipation since you are looking at ergonomics and are a retired RN. However, I have not come to love the shovel. First, the shovel was dull, my husband had to sharpen it immediately. After using a regular stick handle shovel this one seems cumbersome although I know if I use both hands it is better for my body. The larger stepping area is great! I have not totally given up on it but I am not giving recommendations for it to anyone."
Ann Hudson, Gainesville, FL, via email
June 28, 2012
GHT's response: "Sorry that you're not sold on HERS though do appreciate your writing. Regarding the D handle, you're right that using two hands -- or even one hand -- on a handle like HERS' is healthier for you; it allows your wrists to remain in a neutral or near-neutral position, whereas to use a stick handle your wrists are typically twisted. An enlarged D like ours also maximizes the number of ways you can hold the shovel comfortably, is an appropriate diameter for hand-health, and often provides better control. That said, it takes some getting used to! Altering habits is always a challenge, and doing something that will ultimately be more comfortable than the status quo can often feel less comfortable in the short term. As to the blade -- the degree of sharpness is typical for shovels made in the U.S. by Ames True Temper (our blade manufacturer, and the largest shovel maker in North America). . . . We've had feedback from customers that is the opposite of yours ("does a great job slicing into clay" etc.), but also talked with folks who told us they sharpened the blade right away because they always sharpen shovel blades. Unless we want to change our manufacturing process and increase the cost of the shovel (which we don't want to do), that's the degree of sharpness we'll continue to have -- and we'll continue to offer directions on sharpening on our website. Hope you'll keep working with HERS and come to -- if not love it -- at least appreciate it. Thanks"
-- Ann & Liz
"I have a 'gallery' of shovels in my garage since I was always looking for the one which will work with me - no longer - Hers is THE shovel. It does all I would expect from it and digging isn’t a problem even in my clay soil. Thanks Organic Gardening for advertising HERS and thank you for the effort – it was well worth it!"
Joanna Miscavige, Mechanicsburg, PA, via email
May 4, 2012
"I have been giving my new HERS shovel a workout this Spring - it works 'smarter' not 'harder'... LOVE IT! Hope you are adding to your line! :)))"
Jody Hulber, Macungie, PA, posted on our Facebook page
May 1, 2012
"I love my HERS. I was skeptical but it is great and a huge difference."
Beth Cachat, Monroe, WA, via email
April 30, 2012
"I absolutely LOVE the HERS shovel! So does one of our workers, so we need another one. It is the best shovel I have ever used."
Louise Schaefer, Edge of the Woods Nursery, Orefield, PA, via email & Facebook post
April 26, 2012
"Let me comment about my beloved, new HERS shovel: I have struggled with plantar fasciatis in my left foot for quite a few months, but that shovel allowed me to get started on my spring perennials divisions very easily this afternoon. It is the perfect height, perfect balance, and perfect design for cutting into the ground efficiently. I am very glad I found Green Heron Tools. Thank you!"
Wendy Wustenberg, Farmington, MN, via email
April 27, 2012
Suzanne Jewell, posted on our Facebook page
April 5, 2012
"Incredible! Just spent 2 days doing my spring 'power gardening' usually followed by at least 3 Chiropractic visits. I used my new HERS shovel getting my raised beds ready for planting and I have no lower back issues! I'm so happy I discovered this shovel! Thank you!"
Kim Natzel, Mountain View, CA, posted on our Facebook page
April 19, 2012
"I must tell you how much I love my new shovel. I am a disabled nurse and know it would take another nurse to design a shovel that works so well for women. I am so impressed with how much easier it is to do the digging in my garden that I just ordered a shovel for my sister. Thank you."
Barbara Schrader, Snyder, NY, via email
April 15, 2012
"I received the shovels, one for myself and one for my mom. Since getting mine I have used it to remove 5 dead arborvitaes and do some spring transplanting. I love it! I really do find that it is easier to use due to the female friendly design. Thank you for creating such a great product. It was long overdue."
Kay Hopkins, Leawood, KS, via email
April 3, 2012
"I have been meaning to write. I am 5'2" and aging too quickly. Your shovel has dramatically extended my shelf life as a gardener. Thank you."
Louisa Dixon, Jackson, MS, via email
March 23, 2012
"I received my shovel and gathering basket this week! Ran outside and dug a couple of big holes instead of turning on the exercise DVD. The shovel is almost effortless to use, though. Not sure I got a good workout! (Love it!)"
Susan Cathers Diehl, Napa, CA, posted on Facebook
March 23, 2012
"Hello! My husband bought me the shovel at the Philadelphia Flower Show on March 11. I've been using it and it's a great shovel for me because it helps me to dig deeper and the handle is a great fit for both of my hands. It is a very comfortable shovel and better than the old shovel! Thank you for designing the shovel for women!"
Barbara Eger-Klatt, Maryland, via email
March 18, 2012
"Just a note to say I am thrilled with my new shovel and the decision to buy the Large instead of the Medium. It took a while to figure out but you (and my husband) were patient with my indecisiveness. I put it to work as soon as we got back home (from the Philadelphia Flower Show)."
Gail Gurin, via email
March 18, 2012
"THE best -- GO TO -- garden tool EVER! Used today to get a bird nesting box pole hole started."
Barbara Hobens, Cold Spring, NY, posted on the Facebook page of our friends at CobraHead
March 10, 2012
"LOVE the shovel! I am in the process of digging out my raised beds and the shovel makes my job much easier! Thank ya'll for tackling the shovel re-design project!"
Debbie Inman, West Monroe, LA, via email
March 8, 2012
"I love my shovel! Thank you so much. I had to shovel manure, and it just made the task go so fast. I was like a machine, and I felt no pain the next day. . . I had attended your workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair. Learning to shovel correctly was just huge for me."
Danielle Marvit, Churchview Farm, Pittsburgh, PA, shared with us at the 2012 PASA Conference
"My shovel just arrived. OMG, I love it. I was amazed at how much easier it was to use. It sliced into the ground, like slicing into warm butter. It truly works better than any of the many shovels I have in my shed. Thank You!!"
Tamra Stallings, Nashville, TN
"I was the third person to purchase this shovel at your booth at the Mother Earth seminar in Seven Springs. Love the shovel. My sister, an extreme gardener like me, came for a visit and was impressed with it so I'm buying one for her birthday present! My favorite part of the HERS shovel is the extra wide lip on top of the blade. I can now do what my husband has always done with his shovel in really hard dirt -- get it started in the ground and then stomp on it with both feet. I also love the way the sides of the blade curve up a little to hold the clod of dirt and help keep it from falling out. Finally, the big green handle allows for a lot of leverage when I am loosening a big root ball. The shovel has grunt, no doubt about it."
Kathy Warynovich, Ebensburg, PA
"I am so pleased with my new HERS shovel. I waited anxiously all day for FedEx to get here. The minute it did my husband said well let's open this and see the HERS shovel. Immediately he said 'nice foot rest I gotta invent a He shovel like that.' :-) Oh, the handle -- immediately I felt a difference in my shoulders -- no shoulder pain compared with the pain I feel when using a man's shovel. Excellent work ya'll. Bravo. I am grateful for all your hard work."
Kathy Kulbeth, Midland, TX
"So much easier to use! It really increased the fun quotient of digging in clay. This shovel supports, rather than fights, what my body is doing. I think the quality of the shovel, and the experience of using it, reflect the level of research you did. Your commitment to using scientifically sound design concepts translated into a very effective product."
Wendy Gloffke, Mehoopany, PA
"Love, love, love my shovel. What a treat."
Sabrinajoy Milbury, Just Dancing Gardens & Greenhouse, South Burlington, VT, posted on Facebook
Dec. 29, 2011
"Rave review for the shovel I bought at the International Master Gardener Conference. I have been trying to dig out a small stand of Japanese knotweed for awhile. This shovel is the most effective with the least effort of any hand tool I have tried. I think your research has surely provided an effective garden help. Thanks again."
Suzan Stuckman, Elkhart, IN
"My HERS shovel is the best one I have ever used! The height, the handle, the weight . . . HERS makes digging much easier than other shovels. I've used it for transplanting & planting in heavy clay, and the performance has been excellent. Thanks for a product that makes my life easier. I have a small daylily business, and digging is what I do!"
Donna Gibbons Bell, Sheep Run Daylily Farm, Newport, NY
"Toward the end of the season, I found myself favoring the HERS shovel over my old one. I liked the fact that it was lighter in weight (this was a big plus for me), it cut through the soil rather effortlessly, and the big spacious handle was easy to grab. Also liked the color green on the handle. It made it easy to spot among the other tools and yet not be so outrageously colored. We have wet, clay soil and it did its job well. I also liked the balance in the shovel when I was carrying it. All in all, at the end of the season I found myself thinking this was a good item, especially if it lasts a good long time."
Kathy Fliegauf, Washington, NJ
"Nice and light, but sturdy. Sharp edges worked well for gardening and planting in clay. Love the wider handle and blade. . . . The weight and the handle make HERS much more comfortable to use than other shovels, and more flexible for a variety of uses. (Would you recommend HERS to a friend?) Absolutely -- it just feels better to use than typical long-handled shovels."
Pat Heuser, Carlisle, PA
CATHIE DRAINE: Women will dig tools made just for HER
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.
November 17, 2011