Newer Isn’t Better
Modern versions of the plow can be found online. These newer tools can create the furrow like the old one, but Brian isn't a fan. The way the new ones are designed, he said, it’s very difficult to control the depth of the furrow. And that’s the most important factor for germination.
"We get better germination and better results when we use the old plow and just walk along and hand plant and use your foot to push the soil back over the seeds," he said.
Today's versions also include a feeder that automatically sows the seed. Then there's a drag chain that covers the seed with soil as you move the plow forward. Despite these changes to the original design, Brian finds the newer versions much harder to use.
"The worst thing, is you'll have patches where you've gone along for maybe 20 feet, and seeds will get jammed and you don't realize it, so no seeds have been planted. And the problem is you can't really tell because the furrow gets covered as you go," he said.
History and Family
"The connection back to the family history and the original settlers on our land reminds us of how things used to be and how much work goes into farming and planting," Brian said. "I go out and push this hand plow and create a one-acre garden and I think about the effort that took. Then compare that to our local farmer, who's maybe farming 10,000 acres of potatoes or corn. Today he's got these massive tractors. It's just unbelievable how tractors and automated planters and all this stuff has changed agriculture.
"This plow is definitely an antique, there's no doubt about it. People who see it want it. All you have to do is park that thing out front and the neighbors come by and stop and want to talk about it. They see it as a prize. It’s a topic of conversation in our little farm neighborhood."
Tell Us About Your Favorite Classic Tool
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