The New Push Seeder


Like most farmers, Ted always kept an eye out for a new piece of equipment that would make his work more efficient. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when he came home with a shiny new Stanhay precision carrier-seeder one day, even though (as far as I could tell) there was nothing wrong with our old Planet Junior.

Like any kid with a new toy, Ted just couldn’t wait to try it out. As he pulled on his coveralls, I eyed the seeder skeptically.

“Ted,” I said, “it looks awfully heavy. How in the world will you push it through all that soft soil?”

“No Problem,” he laughed, heading out to the garden.

I settled back to watch him. Right away, I could see he was in trouble—his face was already getting red from the exertion as he leaned into the 50 kilogram seeder, trying to push it through the soft earth. I pulled on my boots and ran out to lend a hand.

“Ted,” I said, “you take one handle and I’ll take the other, and we’ll push together.” We managed to seed the first row, heading down the gentle slope toward the riverbank. Then we got to the bottom and turned around to head uphill. Well, we might just as well have tried pushing the thing up Mt. Everest. It was hopeless.

After much panting and sweating, we took a break, leaning against the seeder, wondering what in the world to do. “Ted,” I said, “this just isn’t going to work.” He was too stubborn to admit defeat, however. There was no way he was going to go back to using the old seeder after buying this new one.

He ran to the garage and fetched a long piece of rope. He wrapped it around my waist, then tied an end onto each handle of the seeder. There I was in front, with Ted holding the handles from behind.

“Lois,” he said, “start walking.”

I stared at him for a moment, hardly believing what I had heard. I had to admit, though, it was a good idea, and probably the only way we were going to get the field seeded. Feeling rather like a plough horse, I started pulling.

Well, it worked. We went up the row and down the row, up the row and down the row. The going wasn’t too bad, really, and we actually started to enjoy ourselves. I stopped feeling silly and just got into the steady rhythm of pulling the seeder along while Ted put his back into it and pushed.

Just then, a car happened to pass by. The driver slammed on his brakes, threw the car in reverse, and pulled off on the side of the road. As we neared the fence, we saw four startled, slack-jawed faces peering at us through the car windows. I had a momentary flash of embarrassment—“Just look at their expressions!”—but then I thought, “Well, who cares what they think?” In farming, you’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes.

After silently observing us for half a dozen long, long rows, the car slowly and quietly pulled away. By this time, Ted and I were killing ourselves laughing, picturing the story these folks would tell when they got back to the city.

“Lois,” Ted said, “how I wish I’d had a whip!” 

-Lois Hole, I'll Never Marry A Farmer