Digging deeper...HERShovel™ for Women
(Click the puzzle pieces)
"I used the shovel today. It is marvelous! I love the wide ledge where the foot goes. The shaft length is just right. The whole shovel can be in front of me - improving leverage. The handle is perfect. Everything about it makes the work much easier. Worth every penny."
Valerie Glodzik, Kempton, PA, via email.
April 9, 2017
"My husband gave me your shovel, and it was the best birthday present ever! I have the smaller size, and it's fantastic."
Ellen Tyree, Stillwater, PA, in person at the 2017 PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture conference.
Feb. 3, 2017
"My wife bought a medium shovel from you months ago -- I tried it and loved it, so ordered the larger for myself. Thank you so much for doing this; your tools are very thoughtful and extremely well made."
Robert Brewer, Brewberry Farms, Hiawassee, GA, via email.
Dec. 16, 2016
"Now that I have used both my spading fork and shovel as I moved my horse manure compost from its bin to my trees, I am sold on your technology. I think centering my body on the two-handed handle helped me not trigger shoulder pain that I usually get after such tasks."
Tina Barney, Myrrh Meadow Farm, Hartland, VT, via email.
Dec. 6, 2016
"I got your shovel for my sister, who has a huge garden. She loves that shovel! It's a great product, and I'm glad you are making things for women, because we are different."
Sharon Foley, Elmhurst, IL, via telephone.
Dec. 6, 2016
"I absolutely love the HERShovel, and on my crew everyone knows not to use my shovel. I won't use anything else; it's the best!"
Jeanne Wettlaufer, Wakefield, RI, via email.
Aug. 31, 2016
"I bought a HERShovel from you a few years ago at PASA (PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture). I use it constantly. It's magnificent -- my favorite tool."
Janet Chrzan, Media, PA, in person at the Hardy Plant Society plant sale, Valley Forge, PA.
Aug. 20, 2016
"Received my shovel today. So excited. So far I have planted a dozen day lilies, I really like how much easier it is for me to dig. Thank you so much. After teaching 36 years and still subbing, my passions and sanity from gardening is now easier and painless. Thank you!"
Mary Wayne Gilmore, Gulf Shores, AL, winner of a HERShovel through Gardening Know How giveaway, via Facebook message.
June 29, 2016
"I love my shovel! I haven't had plantar fasciitis since I started using it. In fact, I told my podiatrist about it. It fits, it feels comfortable -- LOVE my shovel!"
Joan Kramer, Rockville, MD, in person at Maryland Master Gardener Training Day.
May 26, 2016
"Your shovel is fabulous. I have two, and I'm giving one as a birthday present."
Bonnie Finne, Toccoa, GA, via telephone.
May 18, 2016
"I have one of your shovels and I love it. I tell everyone about it. It just made such a difference in my life"
Sara Smith, Durham, NC, in person at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC
April 8, 2016
"I just want to tell you that I bought a fork and shovel from you last year, and I love them. I just love them."
Rosemary Nelson, Valley Crucis, NC, in person at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC
April 8, 2016
"I bought a shovel from you two years ago and it's wonderful. I do heavy digging, and it's absolutely the best tool I've ever used."
Linda Coulston, Media, PA, in person at the PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture conference.
Feb. 6, 2016
"I bought one of your shovels the first year it was available, and it's still in great shape. . . still THE favorite shovel."
Ruth Mendum, State College, PA, in person at the PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture conference
Feb. 5, 2016
"For women who like tools . . . I'm talking about real quality garden & farm tools that work with our bodies, not against them! Green Heron Tools is a women-owned company that specializes in real tools for real women who do real work (like, all of us!) The HERShovel is my favorite tool, and yes, it really does make a difference. It's genuine. It's well-made. It's made in this country. And it's not pink."
Maggie Robertson, Little Falls, NY. Posted on Facebook
Jan. 27, 2016
"Well, someone's finally gone and done it. They've designed a shovel that's engineered specifically for women. The size and weight are just right, the D-handle is perfect for reducing back strain, and the choice of three sizes means there's one for everybody. The foot pad on the top edge of the shovel blade is a little wider than a regular round-point shovel so it keeps your foot from slipping as you step the shovel down into the soil. . . And, as an added bonus, the HERShovel is made right here in Pennsylvania and has a 10-year limited warranty."
Jessica Walliser, in "Perfect presents for green thumbs,"
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and TribLive.
Dec. 5, 2015
"My mom LOVED her HERS shovel last Christmas. Best present ever."
Cheryl Dodwell, Bethesda, MD, via email.
Dec. 2, 2015
"The HERShovel made planting 400 Rotterdam mix Daffodil bulbs much easier than a regular shovel or spade."
Ramona Winkelbauer, Washington, D.C., via email.
Dec. 1, 2015
"We missed you at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association conference - we had been planning to buy these shovels there. We have two already and they are everyone's favorite shovels!"
Mimi Strand, Wild Dog Farm, Snow Camp, NC, via website order form.
Nov. 9, 2015
"I think it's wonderful that you are working to help women farmers. I have your shovel and spading fork and they work great."
Richelle, PA, on an online survey for women livestock farmers
Aug. 28, 2015
"I have your shovel and garden fork, and love them both. Pretty sure I'd want whatever you come up with!"
Elizabeth Saxon Erikson, PA, on an online survey for women livestock farmers
July 26, 2015
"It's the best garden tool I ever bought. It's just right for me. I couldn't praise it more, really -- I love it!"
Sherry Heim, Mohnton, PA, in person at the PA Master Gardener Summer Garden Experience.
July 25, 2015
"I love it! One of the things I like about it is that you buy the one that works for your height. I had a woodcarver burn my name on the shaft. No one is permitted to use my shovel other than me."
L. Kay, Lewistown, PA, in person at the PA Master Gardener Summer Garden Experience.
July 25, 2015
"The HERS fork and shovel are great tools. I recommend them to all my friends."
Barbara Baker, Elizabethtown, PA, in person at the PA Master Gardener Summer Garden Experience.
July 25, 2015
"I ordered one of your shovels for my mother, and she loves it. I think it meets a need she didn’t know she had"
Lara Bjork, Portland, OR, via email.
July 21, 2015
"I’m here to tell you, that is the best shovel I have ever used in my life!"
Linda Mazzaccaro, Princess Anne, MD, in person at the Maryland Master Gardener Training Day
June 4, 2015
"What a difference the right height makes! I've had my HERS for at least 3 years now and it is incredibly versatile. But I had no idea how much having the right height shovel makes a difference until I bought a second one for my husband. Yes, my husband. He routinely stole mine simply because the shape of the shovel head is perfect for every task! I bought him his own in the largest/tallest size. Mine is the shortest one and just perfect for me. Every so often I end up using his taller one and it's just not as comfortable to use for me. And vice versa for him. We each love our HERS!"
Crystal, via web comment form
May 18, 2015
"I absolutely love the shovel. I like the size of the handle – I can get a good grip – and the foot thing (enlarged step). Because I don’t weigh a lot, I can put one foot on it and jump on it with the other. And I like the size – it’s just the perfect size for me."
Sharon Phillips, Boalsburg, PA, in person at the Penn State Master Gardeners Garden Faire & Plant Sale
May 16, 2015
"HERS is the best shovel ever. I love it -- it works for me. I've had it for 3 years. It's flexible, I can dig a deep hole, and when I go to jump on it, I have something to jump on."
Barbara Baker, Lancaster, PA, in-person comment at Lancaster Master Gardener conference
March 14, 2015
"The shovel is awesome! It really works!"
Maria Rodale, CEO and President, Rodale, Inc.
May 11, 2015
"I love it. I didn’t expect it to be that different from other shovels, but it is much more comfortable to use and easier on your back."
Lydia Whitefield, Cranford, NJ, in person at the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire
May 9, 2015
"I bought a medium HERS at the garden symposium a few months ago, and I just love it. It’s the right size for me. I’m still in digging-new-beds mode, and the bigger step on the blade makes all the difference in the world for me. My husband likes it, too."
Jill Edwards, Lancaster, PA, in person at the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire
May 9, 2015
"I received the Hers Shovel as a Christmas gift in December of 2014. I anxiously awaited spring to arrive in Wisconsin so I could get out in the yard to try it. The handle is great and my arthritic hands appreciated the design. Unfortunately, the design of the spade of the shovel does not work for me. It is extremely hard to get it to penetrate the ground even in the soft dirt after a light rain. I am in a garden club that digs perennials in members yards for a sale on Memorial Day weekend. I tried three different occasions and had others try also. It just did not do the job. I have returned to my old standard shovel and the Hers Shovel will remain hanging in the garage."
Linda McLean, via web comment form
May 11, 2015
Sorry that you are disappointed with HERS™. The blade is a spade/shovel hybrid, designed both for digging and for the transfer of soil or other material. We have received positive feedback from many women regarding ease of digging with HERS™, in part because of the blade design (e.g., enlarged step to capitalize on lower body strength). Rather than leaving HERS™ in your garage, please consider donating the shovel to a community garden or other nonprofit or public organization. We receive numerous requests for donated shovels, and suspect that someone in your community would be happy to have it. – Ann & Liz
"I got my HERShovel 1½ years ago, and I shovel all over the place! I love it. It just works better for my body build. I shoveled out a whole bank. It’s just much easier to use. It doesn’t tire me out, and my back doesn’t hurt."
Carole Coates, Boone, NC, in person at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC
April 11, 2015
"It’s great! I have two so I have a backup. I like the ergonomics of it. I have a short torso but am long-legged; it fits well with my body."
April Moya, Granite Falls, N.C., in person at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC
April 11, 2015
"HERS is the most amazing tool I have ever used!"
Cristin Mitchell, in person at the PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture conference
Feb. 6, 2015
"I wanted to tell you that I still love my shovel. I use it frequently, and it is a delight -- never thought I'd say that about a shovel!"
Dale Flynn, Sacramento, CA, via email
Nov. 29, 2014
"I have been volunteering with a new therapeutic landscaping project. We have been borrowing the two Green Heron Hergonomic shovels, which you donated to Gallagher Services for their gardening program at the Timonium location two years ago. We have been very impressed by these shovels, as the individuals are able to use them comfortably and with confidence for a variety of landscaping projects."
Susan Joyce, Cockeysville, MD, via email
Nov. 10, 2014
"I was looking for something easier to use than my beloved, sturdy, stainless steel shovel. I've developed left thumb arthritis, and shovels hurt. The HERS shovel takes the effort out of the work. It's amazing. I'm recommending this to friends all the time now."
Sharyn Caudell, Durham, NC, via email
Sept. 16, 2014
"Great shovel! I am so glad I found your site. Your tools for women are wonderful -- about time! I am a gardener and keep an acre in the mountains. And as an older woman, the HERS shovel is a huge help. I plan to buy more tools from you and thank you for developing them!"
Jennifer Voss, Julian, CA, via email
Sept. 13, 2014
"HERS is the best shovel I ever had in my life. I've had it about three years, and I love it."
Laurie Reich, Kittanning, PA, in person at the Garden Writers Association annual symposium
Aug. 9, 2014
"I have your shovel and I love it. It's light, it's sharp, and I could use it to dig even after hurting my knee."
Chris Archambault, Robesonia, PA, in person comment
July 26, 2014
"I got one of your shovels quite a while ago and I just love it. I like to tell people when they're doing things right."
Jane Musser, Red Lion, PA, in person comment
July 26, 2014
"I absolutely love it -- love it love it love it."
Ginny Rosenkranz, Salisbury, MD, in person at the Maryland Master Gardener Training Day
May 29, 2014
"I love it. It's a good size, the blade is sharp, I like the platform on top of the blade. It serves my needs as a landscaper."
Lauren Greenberger, Barnesville, MD, in person at the Maryland Master Gardener Training Day
May 29, 2014
"I've had it for 2 1/2 years, and it's my favorite tool. It makes shoveling a joy."
Judy Neifert, Manheim, PA, in person at the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire
May 10, 2014
"I love my HERShovel, which I ordered a few weeks ago. It’s light but very strong. I liked it so much that I ordered a second one for my daughter."
Emily Woudenberg, Yarmouth Port, MA, via email
May 8, 2014
"I have clay soil. Using HERShovel in combination with the long-handled Korean Hand Plow allows me to dig a much bigger and deeper hole. I use the shovel to dig and the hand plow to break up the clumps of clay."
Bonnie Finne, Toccoa, GA, via phone
May 1, 2014
"I love this shovel. You guys have a fabulous product. I don't let my workers use it -- it's my shovel. I want to compliment you on the ergonomics of it and thank you so much for making such a great product."
Penny Fager, Sun City, CA, via phone
April 30, 2014
"I recently bought one of your shovels for a friend. She loves it, and so do I. So now I'm buying one for myself and one for another friend. I really enjoy giving HERS as a gift. I put a big green bow on the handle, and it looks wonderful."
Donna Allison Cole, Milford NJ, via phone
April 28, 2014
"HERShovel rocks. The HerShovel is night and day. Manual typewriter to iPad. Campfire to the Jenn-Air range. Candles to LEDs. Mine came this week, in mid-project. I put it to use immediately and cut my work in half. Thank you for increasing my productivity and self-esteem in the garden (it was just the wrong shovel, not my lack of muscle!)."
Patricia Paquette, Williamsburg, VA, via email
April 25, 2014
"My own excellent shovel: I have a number of good-sized raised beds and found it difficult to ready them for planting with a regular-sized shovel; a trowel was not a good option. . . I took a chance on the HERS shovel as previous small 'kids shovels' just didn't stand up to heavy use. The HERS shovel truly is tailored for no-kidding use by people of my height and gardening activity. It is easier on my back and arms since its dimensions match mine, and reduces my chance of accidental injury from a long-handled shovel (believe me: it happened!). My foot stays on the shovel while digging due to its excellent design. I like that it cleans up well, and I can easily hang it up by its lovely handle in my garden shed."
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"Island Doc", Brown Island, WA. Review posted on Gardener's Supply Co. website
April 21, 2014
"Thank you Green Heron Tools. I received my HERShovel and D-grip yesterday as you promised. I gave it a quick test drive in the garden. I love the lightweight and well balanced design. I really love the wide plate design."
Connie Skeens Alston, Harrisburg, NC
April 4, 2014
"I bought two of your shovels 2 or 3 years ago, and we really love them. They were used in straw bale construction. We had to dig and dig and dig."
Dena Leibman, ZigBone Farm & Retreat, Sabillasville, MD, in person at the 2014 PASA conference
Feb. 7, 2014
"Do I Need Another Shovel?? Yes, if it makes your job easier. This is the only shovel I use now. I love the big chunky handle and the large step on the blade for stamping down hard!"
Claire Jones, in "Top 5 Gifts for Great Gardeners"
The Garden Diaries blog
Dec. 3, 2013
"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