“A tool is but the extension of a man’s hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. He that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well-being of mankind.” –Henry Ward Beecher
Gardening tools are unique. Some can perform many tasks while others are very specialized. Some are motor powered while others are man powered. I have purchased several manual ones over the years. My ‘can do any tasks’ tool has been a trowel with a long handle. However, my recent purchase of a square hoe has been very helpful with transplanting tomato plants into the garden. It gives me the ability to make a small trench, in which I am able to bury more of the stem (therefore having more roots).
When it comes to beginning the garden for the growing season, my husband tills the area with an electric tiller. One that is very old with a recycled motor (which I don’t have the strength to use). Once it gets closer to time to actually planting the garden, I go back through it and push till it with a high wheel cultivator. This is also very old and was a found object a few years back. It does a wonderful job of turning the dirt at a pace I can control. It allows me to look at the condition of the dirt and remove unwanted pest or objects from the garden. I use to use a tool called a double edge hoe cultivator for this process, but I am not able to get a lot of area done before I am out of breath. I still use it to do weed control between the rows as the garden grows.
I enjoy using manual gardening tools instead of motored ones. First off, motored ones are expensive and cumbersome. Secondly, they require space to be stored out of the weather (my shed is small). Thirdly, you can’t do detailed work with them. Where as manual ones are generally inexpensive and easy to use. They will last a long time as long as they are used properly. Manual gardening tools are distinctive and personal. Some can be passed down from generation to generation. They may hold more sentimental value than monetary. They are dependable and can be used at any stage of the garden. Using them requires you to exercise and put in the effort to what you are doing.
Gardening tools connect you to the process of working the land to get the best harvest God will provide.