Rumford Gardener mini-rake

March 21st, 2008
I’m No Hoe

…though I’m known to be a bit rakish.

Heidegger says that one way being asserts itself is when we notice the absence of something. Presence is being ready to hand, handy. Absence is being missing. When my hand rake went missing about a month ago, I felt its absence keenly. I didn’t know how much I relied on, how handy it was, it until I lost it. I’ve been using various tools in its stead; I even bought a hand cultivator but nothing has worked as well for me as my old hand rake.

I’ve shopped around town for a replacement and finally found one today at Breed and Co ($9). It is from The Rumford Gardener, their Oxford Series Mini-Rake. (How could I go wrong with a tool named after AJM’s university?)

Now some of you, (Carol!) may find it inconceivable that I do not use a hoe. I’m more of a hands-and-knees gardener. I don’t feel comfortable gardening at a distance, standing up. I’m really in it for the dirt.

I find this mini-rake perfect for getting in between the annuals in the meadow and breaking up the crust in the mulch after a hard rain, for uprooting small weeds and pulling out leaves (especially those stuck in the agaves). I don’t know if it is my favorite tool, for I could not do without my Fiskars pruners or my trowel either. But I really missed it and I’m happy I found a replacement.