Farm Tools For Women? Yes, Please

Woman farming

I’m a woman who loves creepy monsters, the color green and anything printed with a nice skull pattern, so most “women’s products” (pink razors, floral-printed tool sets) tend to make me a tad nauseous. But Grist recently reported on for-women products I can get behind: Farm tools for women.

The Grist article was about Green Heron Tools, a company that sells gardening and farming tools designed for women’s bodies. Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger are the smart and savvy women who founded the company. (Another reason Green Heron Tools began to make and sell tools for women is that women are beginning to become a larger part of farming and food production.)

Since Green Heron Tools’ founding, Adams and Brensinger have gained support from women gardeners and farmers, and also have received two USDA Small Business Innovation Research grants.

According to Grist, and another article over at Modern Farmer, the grants made it possible for the women to hire outside professionals to test the farm tools. The research concluded that women use their lower body strength to shovel, and women tend to capitalize on that strength by putting the shovel in the ground at an angle. The shovel Green Heron Tools’ developed has an enlarged blade top and a handle that better fits female hands.

The following are some basic facts about why standard tools typically don’t work well for women:

  • Women have 40-75 percent less upper-body strength and 5-30 percent less lower-body strength.
  • Women have smaller stature, more adipose tissue, narrower shoulders, wider hips proportionally shorter legs and arms, and smaller grips.

In addition to shovels, Green Heron Tools sells cutting and digging tools, self-care products, weeders and cultivators, a tractor hitch, and more. Many of these products aren’t made by Green Heron Tools, but all of them are tested, approved, and recommended by women, reports Grist.

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Image: Mark Welsh