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Hello, This article-link below may to some extent help you understand the use of the Short-Handled Hoe as per comments by Rodrigo Silva. I am not a Farmer, but have done extensive gardening, and actually made myself a Short-Handled Hoe which was unavailable for sale in Southern California when I lived and worked there. For me, it worked very well for close-in cultivation in crowded flower-gardens without problem; although I have never been able to work bent over (serious pain), and have to work on my knees, which I can do all day long. Frankly, I conjecture that the Farm-Owners simply wanted to save money by using short handles. This sound a little absurd, but that's my opinion. http://fightinthefields.net/book1.html