David Good, My Wheel Hoe, Anne Marie & The Garden Idea Book

Dateline: 9 February 2015

David Good, with his Whizbang wheel hoe.

I first “met” David Good a few years back when he purchased one of my Whizbang Wheel Hoe Kits. A little while later, he posted a Review Of The Tool at his popular blog, Florida Survival Gardening. I’ve been a reader of his blog ever since, and I’ve learned a lot (I’ve also been entertained).

Recently David e-mailed me about an upcoming garden video project he is going to be part of. It will feature a lot of well-known gardeners. He said he is going to mention my Whizbang wheel hoe in the video. That’s really nice of him. David referred to my wheel hoe in an e-mail as...

 “...the most elegant little workhorse. Compared to my [name deleted], it is a much better weeder.”  

Coming from David, that means a lot. (I deleted the name of the other wheel hoe because I make it a point not to be critical of any of my competitors in public.)

I sell about 100 wheel hoe kits a year. That’s not many. But it’s not bad considering that I do not do any print advertising. The nice part is that I get good feedback. A couple of small farmers have actually bought an additional wheel hoe kit after they put their first one to use and found it to be a worthwhile tool.

I debated whether or not to keep selling the kits when my supply of parts ran out. But the parts ran out in late December of last year and I scrambled to get the materials for another 200 kits made. Even though I don’t earn a lot of money with my wheel hoe, I enjoy selling the kits. There is no good reason not to keep making and selling them.

David Good also bought some of my Classic American Clothespins when they came out, and he wrote a Great Little Review of them too. David's review of my clothespins is notable for insinuating (in a nice way) that I am totally insane.

And now, David Good, my internet gardening compadre, has gone and written A Dandy Review Of The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners at his newest blog, The Brilliant Homestead. At one point in the review, David wrote that my book...

"...nestles in the sweet spot somewhere between the down-to-earth and the skyward-reaching tendrils of imagination."

Wow. That's some good writing! Thank you, David.

Speaking of my garden idea book, it has sold well, due in large part to the amateur YouTube videos I made last summer. The first video, Four-Day Carrots, now has almost a quarter of a million views! If you have a book or a product to sell, it makes a lot of sense to tap into YouTube to market your product. I’m a believer. I need to be doing more YouTube movies.

Another reason my Garden Idea book has sold well is that the reviewers at Amazon have been very kind to me by overlooking the book’s many little flaws. I will be fixing the flaws in the 2nd printing, which I anticipate doing in about a year.

With that in mind, I have just had the book professionally edited. Most book publishers get their book edited before publishing it. That is the right way to do it. I know better than to publish a book without editing, but spring was coming, time was short, and I just wanted to get the project done.

How I found a person to edit the book is kind of an interesting story. A woman named Anne Marie bought some clothespins from me last year. I included a paper with the order, telling about the clothespins. Part of the paper said  “These clothespins have been carefully crafted by my family and I...”  That choice of words on my part prompted the following e-mail:


Hi Herrick,

I am thrilled with my clothespins! The old weak ones will be donated to the local charity thrift store.

I hope you won’t mind if I point out a grammatical error in your “Thank you” note. In the first sentence, “my family and I” is the object of the preposition “by.” As such, the pronoun should be in the objective case: “me.” 

Just as you would never say, “These clothespins were crafted by I,” neither should you say “…by my family and I.” For some reason people tend to shy away from “me” (and “her” and “him”) when used following “and.” All it takes is a quick test (e.g., leave out family and just talk about yourself) and you can see that the objective case pronoun is the proper one to use. 

If “My family and I” is the subject of the sentence (“My family and I crafted these clothespins in our home workshop…” then the nominative case (I, he, she…) is correct. (You wouldn’t say “Me crafted these clothespins.") I hope this makes sense!

Best wishes for continued success with Planet Whizbang!

Anne Marie 
Retired high school English teacher


Well, I didn’t mind being corrected at all. Fact is, I appreciated it (and made the change). 

I am in awe of people who, unlike myself, really know their grammar (objective case pronoun?), and it was evident to me that Anne Marie would be a good person to edit my garden book. I asked, she expressed an interest, and I sent a copy of the book her way. 

Anne Marie liked the book, and told me what it would cost to have her do the editing. I agreed, some e-mails were exchanged along the way, and I received the heavily edited book back a few weeks later.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it all played out. The bad news is that I have a LOT of work ahead of me to get the book shipshape for the 2nd printing. 

So that’s the story of how two people, David Good in Florida and Anne Marie in Colorado, have blessed me with their interest in my products and their professional expertise. They are not, of course, the only two people to do this, but they are two people who I’m particularly thankful for today.

A section of edited page.


Anonymous said...


I am interested in learning a bit about how you go about planning things, organizing your work and your writings and so on. You have a lot of things going and it is always interesting to learn some tricks and tips about the process of keeping it all organized from someone who is very good at it. If you find time and the topic interests you please share someday.


Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

Anne Marie sounds like a great find.

The book is excellent as-is, yet as a writer I know first-hand that a good editor definitely improves the author's original work.

Glad you're continuing with the wheel hoe kits.

Frank and Fern said...

Isn't it interesting how total strangers are sometimes sent our way to enrich our lives? I have been blessed this way time and again. Thank you for sharing how you were as well.


magnoliasntea said...

I need one of those wheel hoes! I hope to purchase one this year...maybe for my birthday.
I'd never heard of David Good nor his blog. I'm his newest reader now. Thank you for the link.
Bless Anne Marie's heart! I'm sure the new edition of your book will flow like honey a hot biscuit with the new edits. The fact is a whole slew of journalists these days have no idea which word to put where so we as readers latch on to their bad habits when reading articles. It seems nothing is as good as it used to be... except, maybe, heirloom tomatoes.