History of My Hoe Collection

Hoe week continues here at May Dreams Gardens with a history of sorts of my hoe collection.

How does someone end up with a collection of hoes?

How does anyone end up with a collection of anything?

How does anyone get the nerve to even tell anyone about all the hoes she has, to talk about them in public, to post about them on her blog?

And do my 21 hoes really constitute a “collection?

Perhaps a little history would be helpful to either guide others on how they can have a hoe collection or to serve as a warning that “this could happen to you”!

The Early Days

As with most collections (if that is what I have), I started out with one. One hoe.

If I recall correctly, it was an “American Standard” hoe, the hoe you are most likely to buy if you go to any hardware store in America looking for “a hoe”. When I bought it, I was living in an apartment with a patio garden that was about 10 feet x 10 feet, big enough that I decided I should have a hoe to hoe it up.

Then I moved to a house and started my first vegetable garden. One hoe was not going to be enough! I decided that I should get a second hoe, which I recall was a“Pointed American Hoe”. Is that so bad, to have two hoes?

I Discovered I Liked Hoes

And then my memory is all kind of fuzzy and I can’t remember what happened, but I woke up and I had a garage full of hoes, all kinds of hoes.

Well, that’s not exactly what happened. What happened, I suppose, was that I just took an interest in the different kinds of hoes that are offered and bought one, then another, then another, for quite a while. I liked trying them out to see what made them different and finding out if any one hoe was really better than another.

I soon found that I was seeking out hoes at hardware stores and garden centers, in catalogs and eventually online. If I found a hoe that wasn’t like one I already had, and it was reasonably priced, I bought it so I could try it out.

Eventually I ended up with so many hoes, that there was no turning back.

I Went Public With My Hoe Collection

Then I told my friends and coworkers about all my hoes, and even showed them a PowerPoint presentation featuring pictures of all the hoes. (Yes, if I may say so myself, the PowerPoint presentation, with my narration, is funny.)

About that time, I also started blogging and decided to really go public and post my hoe collection online. I suppose that everyday at least one person does some online search and discovers that yes, someone out there has a hoe collection!

I Added Antique Hoes

Along the way, I branched out into some antique hoes. Or rather, a friend of mine got me three old hoes from a friend of a friend, who was cleaning out an old barn. And then my aunt called me about a hoe she found when one of my uncle’s was cleaning out an old shed and I had to have it. It might well have been used by my great-grandfather!

That hoe, by the way, is the only hoe I actually keep in the house. It sits in a corner of my sunroom, in a place of honor. Every time I see it, I am reminded that I have ancestors who farmed, who gardened, who knew the importance of good tools to work the land, who would probably wonder about me and all the hoes I have to work the little bit of land that I have.

Then last summer, I added a hoeing machine and another old hoe when my Mom/Sister’s neighbor moved away.

Where Does It End?

Collecting hoes isn’t like collecting state quarters or something that there is a finite number of, so there may be no end.

I suppose space and funds will limit me over time. But right now, I’m still adding new hoes to my collection and will added “selected” antique hoes if I find any that interest me, that I feel a connection to.

I do sometimes wonder if I am the only one who has this many hoes, or if I am just the only one with this many hoes who has posted them on the world wide web for everyone to see. It’s a big world out there, I bet there are other gardeners who have a lot of hoes.


When we have the Garden Bloggers’ Hoe Down on Saturday, I am looking forward to seeing all the different hoes that gardeners have, seeing who has the same kinds of hoes I have, and seeing who has different hoes that I’ve never seen.

Please post and be a part of it!


  1. I have heard that if you have 3 of anything that would be a collection. So you are way ahead of that figure.

    I too am looking forward to seeing all the different hoes.

    All this hoe hoe hoe talk and as cool as it has been the past couple of days made me think of christmas. Naw its too early for that but you could expand your gift list by perusing all the hoe pictures that will be posted saturday.

  2. I am curious, have you ever "met" a hoe you didn't like?
    Kathy, the older sister

  3. Your PowerPoint presentation really needs to be on YouTube.

  4. I think that you need to call your "collection" a "brothel" of hoes. Kind of like a gaggle of geese, you see. O:)

    I like that you keep the ancient ho in your house, in a place of honor. That's a wonderful sentiment.

  5. I love the idea of your Hoe Down! Interesting collection you have.

  6. I wonder if you should start a hoe-collection club, or support group, or whatever? Hoes is kind of an unusual thing to collect. My antique hoes are under lock and key btw...don't try to come over and steal them! LOL!

  7. You've really come out of the closet about your hoes, haven't you Carol? Ground breaking work we might say. ;-) I wonder who else will delight us with riviting tales about their collection of hoes?

    BTW why isn't your powerpoint presentation about your hoes not on youtube yet?

  8. Lisa at Greenbow, Right now, I can't imagine there is a hoe I don't have, but we'll see when everyone posts their hoes. I might see some more I want.

    Kathy, It sure doesn't seem like I have.

    MSS @ ZanthanGardens, I wish I knew how to do that, with narration. Then I'd do it! Maybe Annie in Austin can help me.

    Blackswamp_Girl, A brothel? Whatever do you mean? ;-)

    Nancy J. Bond, I hope you'll post about your hoes, too.

    Sherry at the Zoo, A support group? Why would I need a support group?

    Yolanda Elizabet, Yes, I've certainly put my hoe collection "out there" for others to see!

    Thanks all for the nice comments!
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens


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