We are excited to have Bob Denman, owner of Red Pig Garden Tools, as our speaker this Sunday (June 10th). His talk is titled “Price Is Not The Only Difference” where he will go into depth about how tools are made and how to tell the difference in quality. Maurice was able to convince him to bring a few tools to sell as well. I am looking forward to it and hope that we get a few people to come out.
This winter I decided that I wanted a trowel for Christmas. I looked at all the tools available online and had settled on something made in Holland that was going to cost quite a bit. I was ok with this but then I came across this tool company that made handcrafted tools and was located fairly close in Boring, Oregon.
My wife and I drove out on a Saturday in November and wound our way out into the countryside. We pulled up to a barn, which I found out is actually constructed out of two old barns, and rung a bell to let them know we were there. We were first greeted by a friendly dog and then Bob showed up. The store is packed full of all kinds of garden tools from huge warrior ax looking things to small Japanese propagation scissors. We looked around for a bit and I picked up nearly every tool in the place to look at.
Eventually I got to chatting with Bob and told him what I was looking for. The conversation turned in many directions and he covered the history of garden tools for the last 150 years, how each tool is made and the materials that go into them (many are made out of old sawmill blades), the different methods of weeding depending on the planting environment, and on and on it went. We talked for around two hours and I felt thoroughly enlightened on the subject of garden tools.
I didn’t buy the trowel I had drove out for, there is one I am building in my head that I will probably have him custom make, but I did not leave empty handed. I bought the Cape Cod Weeder and have loved using it this spring. It looks like a crazy sharpened hook and really takes out weeds. More importantly I got a file to sharpen all my tools. Having well maintained tools has made me enjoy gardening even more.
I hope you can make it out for the class on Sunday, but if not I would definitely check out Red Pig Garden Tools.