Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Museum Highlights: Seed Sowers

A little while ago we posted an article on the museum facebook page from Decks Awash that talked about the dairying business in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. While we may all be focused on #CapelinRoll2016 and waiting for those little fish to roll on to the beach at Middle Cove, it is important to know that there is more to the area than just the fishery.
Capelin would often be caught in large quantities to be used as fertilizer for local farms and gardens. From This Way to The Grotto... 1984.

This week we turn to the agricultural history of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. A tour of Marine Drive and Outer Cove Road shows the farming history of the area, with many residents using fishing to supplement their livelihoods, and hoping every spring that they can get their small farms established before the fishing season started.

Seed sower [007.1.10]
One tool used in farming was the seed sower. There are two different styles of sower at the museum, a simple one and a more complex device.
Seeds would be inserted in the hole and would fall down through other, smaller holes along the wheel. [007.1.10]
The simple seed sower was used by filling the wheel with whatever seed was to be sown (as long as it was small enough to pass through the holes in the wheel) and pushed along the row. This style of sower had very little control, but certainly served its purpose.

This sower was donated by Jack and Fay Hickey and is showing its age and how much it was used to sow the fields.
Complex seed sower with the name Ed Thomas written on the handle. [000.6.4]

The second sower we have is a little more complex. It consists of two wheels and a small well for the seeds. Pulling a wire connected to the handle would open the bottom of the well, allowing the seeds to fall to the soil. This style of sower did not space the seeds as much as the simple one, but did allow for less wasted seed as the flow of seeds could be stopped by pushing the wire back down, closing the bottom of the seed well.
Closer view of the seed well and wheels. [000.6.4]
This sower was donated by Nicholas Roche.
Top view of the seed well [000.6.4]

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