With Spring in the air, this post is for any green thumb mavens, who have ever found themselves frustrated by the gardening tools, equipment, gear and apparel available to women. Women’s bodies are different from men’s, so shouldn’t our tools be too? That’s the very astute question that Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger, avid gardeners-turned-market-growers, asked and answered in 2008 when they formed Green Heron Tools. The online retail company is dedicated to offering high-quality agricultural and gardening tools and equipment designed to work specifically with women’s bodies. Our favorite part… NONE of their tools are pink!
Gardening has been a part of Ann & Liz’s lives for many years and both women share a passion for sustainability, heirloom varieties and great food. In 1995, they took a leap into market growing to support Ann’s son’s gourmet restaurant, which evolved into the region’s first farm-to-table restaurant. They named their New Tripoli, PA operation Green Heron Farms. The goal was to expand Green Heron Farms so that it could sustain the two women, but that plan hit two major roadblocks: 1. there was only so much they could handle as there were only two of them, both with “day jobs” that had to take precedence for economic reasons; 2. Ann & Liz lacked the kind of tools and equipment that would improve their efficiency enough to increase production to a level that could sustain them.
So, in the beginning, the two industrious women sold what they grew at farmers’ markets and joined agricultural organizations such as the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the PA Women’s Agricultural Network. In talking with other women growers who, like Ann & Liz, were in search of tools and equipment that fit their bodies and their needs, they realized the issue of tools and equipment was more complex than they had initially realized. Ann & Liz then began to research agricultural tools and equipment suitable for women and found, essentially, nothing. That didn’t mean there weren’t tools that worked for women; it meant that seemingly no one had designed any tools or equipment specifically to work with women’s bodies. Virtually all available tools and equipment were designed for men. When you consider how significantly different women’s bodies are from men’s, that’s a major issue.
Ann & Liz wanted to find the solution to this problem. So, after 13+ years of “growing” Green Heron Farms, the determined pair formed a new business venture, Green Heron Tools, which has been thriving since 2008.
Every product Green Heron Tools carries has been recommended, tested and evaluated by women farmers, landscapers, gardeners or viticulturists. They offer everything from apparel, cutting tools, and weeds/cultivators to safety gear, self-care products and gifts for gardeners.
Got some serious digging to do, then check out Green Heron Tools’ latest product innovation, HERS™ – the world’s first HERgonomic™ shovel-spade hybrid designed scientifically and specifically for women. Every feature of HERS™ is based on women’s bodies as well as our digging & shoveling styles. So smart!
So ladies, go exercise your green thumb, putter away in your garden or grow the veggies for your next meal… just make sure you are equipped with the right tools to maximize your comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety.
TRIVIA: In the summer of 2009, a full year after Green Heron Tools was officially formed, Ann & Liz learned that green herons are among the only birds on Earth who use tools! Does it get any better than that?!?