After an entire fall full of dire economic predictions, it could be that the only growth many of us see this year will be in the garden. According to the pundits' current measurement of consumer sentiment, we'll all be staying close to home, either cocooning or nesting, which probably doesn't sound all that bad to most gardeners.
If you are watching your expenditures this year, one of the best ways to get the most out of a limited budget is to make sure that the tools you buy are of high quality, have high utility, or really complement your current kit; they don't have to be expensive. Often overlooked are some of the traditional tools from other countries, such as the Korean Ho-Mi digger on page 37. It can do the jobs of a hoe, a mattock, a rake, a pick, and a trowel, and is useful from first planting to final harvest. There's a good reason it's been produced for more than five thousand years.
Of the many newer items in this catalog, the Kangaroo pocket apron on page 181 is a favorite. It is not just a good tool, it can actually change how you work in the garden. It frees you from dragging along a bucket or container to hold clippings and weeds, leaving both hands free as you work. It is equally useful for harvesting, since it is easily emptied without taking it off; just unfasten the chute and let the contents slide out.
It may not be five thousand years old, but it is one new product that should stand the test of time.
Robin C. Lee