Introducing the Homi - our NEW Korean Hand Hoe!
Ever since we became a bit obsessed with the Japanese Hori-Hori garden knife, we’ve been thinking ‘what other tools are we missing out on?’. Tools that are used and loved across the world, that we perhaps don’t know about, or haven’t fully appreciated as being useful for us in the UK in either our garden or workshop.
The first tool that we looked into, some time ago and it’s taken a while to source, was the Korean Hand Hoe - an agricultural tool they have been using since the Bronze age.
In the UK it’s generally called the Homi, or sometimes referred to as the Ho-Mi, or HoMi. We’re going to go with Homi (until someone who knows better tells us not to!) The variability of its name is probably due to two reasons. Firstly, in Korea, (according to the font of knowledge that is Wikipedia) it goes by different names in different regions (including Homaengi, Homei and Homu). Secondly, there is no one ‘standard’ Homi – its design varies across the country too, and each has a different name. There are three different types of Homi – each is a hand hoe – but they have slightly different shapes for different uses. There’s the plowshare-shaped homi (called the paddy field homi) which is the version we’re stocking. There’s also the sickle-shaped homi (called the non-paddy field homi) and the triangle-shaped homi – both of which have longer blades and look a little bit similar (albeit more curved) to the Japanese weeding hoe from Niwaki. It was the distinctively different (to English gardening tools) curve of the ‘plow’ Homi that interested us.
So, what is the Homi and how do you use it?
Essentially, it’s a hand plough. It’s got a sharp convex blade – meaning it can turn the soil over really well. Having tested it – it works well in our heavy soil, with the shape easily enabling you to pull through the soil and make furrows, pull out weeds, or – in our case, hack out some plants or rocks! The pointy tip is good too, for seed drills or digging around or getting into smaller spots.
Having used it, we think it deserves a spot in your regularly used garden tools - because it is different to the other tools you are already likely to have. So we reckon it might just come in use, and become a favourite. So far, we’ve mainly used it in the Veg Patch, so we definitely think it’ll be useful in an allotment.
We are now officially ‘on the lookout’ – if you know of a tool that’s great which is used in another country – do get in touch. We’d be interested to take a look and try it out… Thanks!