Is hoeing becoming a lost skill amongst gardeners? A dying art? A forgotten trade?
In my most recent survey of readers who visit this blog, it turns out that out of 100 respondents, only 13 have more than three hoes, and that includes me. (I’m not sure how many hoes I have, but I know it is more then three.)
14 gardeners have three hoes, 18 have two hoes, and 35 have one hoe.
An astounding 17 people who responded to the survey have no hoe at all!
But many had comments, including…
“It’s a borrowed hoe.” Borrowed? From who (or is it whom?) I never loan out my hoes and no one will let me borrow a hoe, for fear it won’t be returned. Let me go on record stating that I have never stolen a hoe, so I have no idea where anyone would get the idea that if I borrowed one, I wouldn't return it.
“Well, some of them are not technically mine. I'm assuming that anything in the shed counts.” Well, if it is a hoe it counts. But why would a gardener have someone else’s hoes in his/her shed?
“Two really old ones from when this house belonged to my father-in-law, but, I have not used them. Blasphemous I know! I actually prefer to get down on my knees with a small hand tool.” No comment. It is kind of blasphemous to leave a couple of old hoes unused in the shed. Oh, wait, I have several old hoes that I don’t use anymore, either, so maybe it is okay.
“I mean...I thought pimping was illegal in the US?” Everyone’s a comedian these days! I guess the comment “tee hee” should go along with this one. For the record, I’m writing about gardening tools here, fellow bloggers and gentle readers, and nothing else. I’m sorry you had to read that.
“None, and it's a good thing this is anonymous!” I can only guess who left this comment, but really, I don’t judge a gardener by their hoes. Really, I don’t.
“I *use* one, but I don't actually own it... I rent an apartment and I found a hoe in the basement and just helped myself.” Another borrowed hoe! But I guess hoeing with a borrowed hoe is better than not hoeing at all.
“Honestly, for the size of my yard I have not needed one yet. Again, maybe next summer I will aspire to hoe-ownership!” Clearly, this is a smart person who understands that owning and using hoes, in the garden, is a good thing, something to aspire to.
“If you count hand hoes. I had to run outside (in the moonlight) to count, though, so I'm not a hoe ho.” Does this mean this gardener left their hand hoes outside instead of safely inside in a shed? Oh, I think I know who left this comment! And what exactly is a hoe ho?
So what conclusions can we draw from this survey question?
If you were a hoe maker, would you have hope for the future of the hoe industry? Will hoe collecting ever become “the next big thing” like collecting Beanie Babies or Hummel figurines?
Is hoeing a forgotten skill amongst gardeners? Will their be a resurgence of hoeing as more gardeners take up vegetable gardening? Will more gardeners grow vegetables?
Like most surveys, this one gives us much to think about and actually raises more questions!
Thanks to all who participated in the survey. It’s closed now due to having 100 respondents, the most I can have with the free version of the tool I used. Watch for future posts on the responses to the other four questions. Some of the information may actually be useful…
In the meantime, feel free to use this hoe information as you feel fit, as long as you link back to this post as the source of this Important Hoe Research!