Adams and Brensinger (Green Heron Tools) see what they do, in part, as a form of social justice. “Lots of women farmers want to farm alone,” Adams says. “They’re not married, they don’t have a support system right there. It was very obvious that women were at a disadvantage [when it came to tools].
”Liz Wagner runs Crooked Row Farm in New Tripoli with her mother, Donna Wagner. Donna bought a HERShovel before they even broke ground on their 3.5-acre farm after meeting Adams and Brensinger. Until then, Liz said, she had no idea any woman-specific farming tools existed—or that they’d be useful.“Before, a shovel was a shovel, with a handle that was usually too tall for me to use with any real dexterity and a blade that often cut into the soles of my shoes over time as I dug,” says Liz.
She adds: “I’ve met people who feel like using a different tool expresses weakness, and I think when I first moved into this field, I felt similarly. It’s an ego thing, [but] not realistic when you look at the science and see the differences in our body structure.”
“The HERShovel has completely changed the way I use this type of tool,” says Danielle Marvit, a former organic grower and herdswoman, who is currently the production manager for Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery in Pittsburgh. “It has been great for my body, and it is the most efficient shovel I have ever used.”