Two Heirloom Gardening
Tools That Will Make
Every Gardener’s Day
THE TOOLS DISCUSSED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:
For the next six weeks we are going to enrich your Holiday Garden Gift buying experience by teaching you about the history of some of the most beloved heirloom garden products known to man. If you purchase these products from us, we can assure you that they will become some of the most treasured and most frequently used products by your loved ones, family or friends.
In this newsletter, we are going to discuss The Hori-Hori, a Japanese Gardening Knife, and The Homi, a Korean Hand Plow.
The Hori-Hori, pictured above is perhaps the most versatile and most enduring hand tool ever created for the gardener. The tool consists of a stainless steel blade securely fixed into a wooden handle. Horis range in size from 11-15 inches. The Harvesting History Hori is 12 inches with a 7 inch blade and a 5 inch hardwood handle. The 2-inch diameter stainless steel blade is slightly concave with one serrated edge and one knife edge. Etched markings at the center of the blade indicate how deep the blade has gone into the soil.
Horis were created by the Japanese probably in the 1200s and made of forged iron. The Japanese would hike high into the mountains surrounding their villages to harvest wild root vegetables like radishes and turnips growing in the higher altitudes. The hikes were rigorous so the farmers needed to carry very little because they would be returning with backpacks loaded with heavy vegetables. The shape of the blade with a serrated edge and a smooth knife edge allowed the foragers to harvest by digging deep and slicing through roots and tough vegetation. The Hori was developed because it could perform all the required tasks and was sturdy enough to last for decades.
During the Middle Ages, the Hori was used as both a gardening tool and a weapon. From the Japanese villages a class of warrior-farmers arose known as the Ashigaru. These warriors became an important part of Japanese warfare. They were not paid for their services, but they were allowed to take valuables from the dead that they had killed.
Today, the magnificent design of this tool makes it useful for nearly all the manual work required in and around the garden.
The Homi, Korean Hand Plow, is a short handled traditional farming tool used by the Koreans since The Bronze Age (3300 BC – 800 BC). The Koreans have used it and still use it for many, many functions including removing grasses from paddies and fields, plowing rice fields, planting seeds and transplanting plants and plowing up soil.
Archaeologists believe that the design of the Homi was inspired by the design of the Hoe. Remnants of ancient Homi tools have been excavated at the Bronze Age archaeological site at Pyeongnam Mangsan Mangsan and the early Iron Age site at Yangpyong, Gyeonggi Province.
The original Homis were constructed of forged iron affixed to a round hardwood handle. The tool consists of three parts: a blade, a tang and a handle. The blade is a forged iron inverted triangular piece. From the point at the tip, the blade broadens and curves, slightly, to form a scoop from which emerges the tang The tang connects the blade to the handle and is one piece with the blade. The tang is securely attached to the handle which is a rounded piece of hardwood.
Today, the Homi continues to be constructed of forged iron with a hardwood handle. It is used to excavate roots and stones, to create furrows for planting, to dig holes, to remove both shallow and deep rooted weeds, and to clear the soil surface of brush and twigs.
The Harvesting History Homi is approximately 13 inches long. The triangular, forged iron blade is approximately 3 inches wide and 6 inches long tapering to a sharp point. The tang is 8 inches long and the handle is 5 inches long. Western Europeans and Americans have come to love this extremely versatile tool nearly as much as the Koreans. There is only one problem. The Homis that Harvesting History sells are designed for right-handed gardeners and are not as easy to use for left-handers.
All Harvesting History tools and equipment are handsomely bagged in a drawstring burlap bag recalling the packaging of centuries ago. Inside the burlap bag is the product and an accompanying document which relates the product’s history. Affixed to the drawstring outside the bag is an old fashion label with additional history on the back. The packaging is an effort to remind the receiver of the gift that they are now in possession of a special piece of gardening history-something that has stood the test of time for centuries, if not millenia.
If you are looking for the ideal child’s holiday gift, don’t miss our Tuesday, November 12, 2019 newsletter on Praying Mantises. Oh, and BTW it makes a great gift for many, many adults.
Celebrate your uniquely American horticultural heritage
Harvest Your History
Seed Your Future
on orders $50 and above
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