Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Current Favorite Tool

I think I'm a bit different from most gardeners. I can go into a garden store and buy nothing. I love to look at the plants. I could do that for days, but I don't need to bring them home. I'm also not much of a tool hound. Having more tools means more tools that I have to keep track of. Most of mine are hand-me-downs from my husband's grandma Lea and some are in terrible shape.

My life is so much simpler if I just have a few. I also don't have much of an attachment to them and frankly rarely use tools. Hands are so much more fun (well unless you have to dig). Carol loves her hoes. Mine are just tools. My kids used to take them to the backyard and loose them in the woods. They were supposed to put them back when they were done, but they rarely did. It really didn't bother me much. Most were old and dying as it was. Digging in the woods seemed like good childhood fun to me. When I needed them I would make them start hunting, but I was never upset. One of them however has been permanently lost in the woods. It was the one tool I wouldn't let them use for a long time. I agonized over buying it. It was my compost fork.

A good compost fork is worth its weight in gold. All I had before was a garden fork, which is used to turn soil. It came to me old and bent. It still works, but the wooden part of the handle has fallen off. The problem with a garden fork is twofold. It is very heavy, which means it is sturdy enough to dig rocks out of the garden, but uses a ton of energy when you are turning compost, and it tines are too wide and sticks get stuck in them - especially in the bent part. Now that I am getting lots of grass cuttings, and making a lot of compost again, I need a good fork to turn over my compost.

My favorite (sadly soon to be closed down) garden store had an OK compost fork,but not great. Mahonies, the biggest of our local gardening stores, only had a long handled pitchfork, and it was heavier than my garden fork. So it was time to turn to online sources. I tend to like the tools that Johnny's has. They are very well made. The compost fork that I ordered from them is wonderful, light and sturdy. It has no wooden parts at all. It is mostly metal with a plastic handle. And it is green, so it looks nice in the woods. Turning over the two compost piles this morning was a breeze compared to last week. It's my new favorite tool. Of course now that I've bought it, watch me finally find where my kids buried my old one. I know it is out there somewhere.


  1. Whatever it is always turns up after you don't need it anymore or get another one to replace it. Murphy's Law!

  2. Daphne, love your blog!. Great posts, and interesting photos. I am looking forward to reading more from you.


  3. Green looks so much nicer lost in the woods. ;)

    I'm a tool minimalist as well but that's a nice looking compost fork.

  4. Jane Marie: I would always be happy to find my last one. I'd put it next to my other compost pile, but that one I rarely turn over. It is one of those plastic ones with a lid. I put my kitchen waste in it, and the lid keeps the animals away.

    Jen: Thanks.

    Tam: lol yes I might lose my new one since it is green. My last one was blue. I ought to get all of my tools painted bright yellow so they don't get lost, but I usually don't lose the big ones, just the little ones like a trowel.