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.