The Mystery of the Old Grub Hoe

What secrets of the garden does this old grub hoe know? What ground has it broken? What roots has it dug out? Who carved that handle, clearly not the original, but definitely hand-hewn? Who has leaned against this hoe, perhaps after hoeing out a long row with it?

And how did they get that hoe head on there?

That's what my cousin and I wondered and asked ourselves as we examined this fine old gardening tool last weekend.

It looked to us like someone had figured out a way to put the hoe head on the handle so that it wouldn't come off at either end. Impossible, right? One end has to be small enough for the hoe head to slide on, and the other end wide enough so it doesn't fall off.

And that is indeed the case with this handle. I examined it more closely this evening and could see where if you slide the hoe head down the handle and turn it just right, you can get it to come completely off.

When my cousin gave me this hoe, in exchange for a donation to her church's building fund, I asked her if she knew the history of it, because an old hoe is more interesting if you know its story, where it came from, who used it, and how old it is.

She said she got it from a priest... and at that moment I decided that forevermore, this hoe shall be called a gardening tool. It does not seem right to talk about getting an old hoe from a priest! (You know how you are all are when I write about hoes. Your minds wander – inappropriately, I might add.)

Anyway, she got this gardening tool from a priest and speculated that perhaps it was once used at a nearby monastery. We will never know for sure.

All we know for sure is that this old gardening tool, with its hand-hewn handle and mysterious past, is now part of my hoe collection. I'll add it to the official hoe collection post once I take a better picture of it.


  1. I thought you were referring to an old Nancy Drew book until I read further. Actually I'm surprised there wasn't a Nancy Drew called The Mystery of the Old Hoe. I really think you ought to call this tool the Priest's Hoe. Yes, my mind wanders!

  2. Definitely a lot of veggie roots have had the benefit of this hoe, I'm sure.
    I wonder whether the priest drew up his sermon while working with this hoe?

  3. Many priests have old hoes. It all started back with St Fiacre, who fed and healed the poor with his garden. Ha..gotcha.

    It looks like you have a wonderful addition to your hoe collection.

  4. What a great addition. So much history.

  5. Or, pehaps, St. Francis, who fed all the beasts and birds from his garden at the monastery. :) I love that you received this garden tool from your cousin. I also love that you explained about the handle.~~Dee

  6. What a cool antique! It is a great addition to your collection. You could call it the "Holy Hoe."

  7. Old tools always have a story or two to tell. And even if you can't get them to tell it, they have that wise, weathered look. As you are to hoes, I seem to be to spades and shovels -- though my collection isn't as extensive as yours. Still, old as they are, I can't seem to part with them. (I have the same fixation with a growing number of milk jugs.)

  8. That is one cool looking hoe, er, gardening tool. I can see why it's been added to your collection. Fun to imagine what it's old life was like too.

  9. I was there and missed the 'hoe' thing.

  10. Perhaps it's even older than you think and belonged to Brother Cadfael?

  11. This is really a cool hoe, Carol! I see MMD has already beat me to it by suggesting you call it the Holy Hoe. Surely, no weed would dare to fight back with such a sacred relic in your hands:)


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