Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The old Seed Fiddle 17

He pushed and pulled the bow, with each stride he took,
For the seed must spread thinly, according to the book.


The old Seed Fiddle

I still have a seed fiddle the same as father used when I was a kid. I used it to sow seed mixture in the corners of the fields for the stewardship schemes. I keep it in the office on top of a cabinet where it won't get damaged or run over by a tractor.





Father always had one for broadcasting grass seeds, but according to its instruction card pinned to it you can sow anything that will go through the aperture (that rules out potatoes). It also tells you how to calibrate and set the regulating lever.

If you have an Aero seed fiddle the chances are that the instructions are un readable or even worn away or just got torn off. However here is a copy of the exact instructions that should be followed



THE "AERO" BROARDCASTER AND SEED SOWER
______________________
WORKING DIRECTIONS
Place the stick of bow in position, by putting it through the coiled spring immediately in rear of distributor bobbin; fix end on stick; give thong one turn round bobbin the pass it through hole in handle of bow and secure tightly.

To alter machine to sow different quantities per acre, loosen the winged nut on bottom of box, set lever to number required, then tighten winged nut.

Using instructions

No2 sows 6 pints of Clover Seed per statute acre and 16 feet at cast. Or 2 bushels of Rye Grass to a statute acre and 16 feet at cast.

No3 sows 3 gallons of Flax or Trefoil to a statute acre and 12 feet at a cast.

No4 sows peeks of flax to a statute acre at a cast.

No5 sows 1½ bushels of Wheat to a statute acre and 24 feet at a cast.

No6 sows 2 ½ bushels Oats to a statute acre and 16 feet at a cast.

No7 sows 3 ½ bushels Oats to a statute acre and 16 feet at a cast.
                        Or 3 bushels of Barley and 20 feet to a cast.

No8 sows 4 bushels Oats to a statute acre and 16 feet at a cast.

 

No9 sows 5 bushels Oats to a statute acre and 16 feet at a cast.

No10 sows 6 bushels Oats to a statute acre and 16 feet at a cast.

 A shorter stick can be used for sowing headlands or narrow ridges

Keep your seed clean Keep your belt tight

Oil the journals and grease the stick well. Keep a regular and firm motion.


Never be entirely governed by the numbers as difference in the walk of the operator and the difference in quality of seed makes a gradual difference in the amount distributed therefore always measure in your hopper the amount of seed wanted of a cast or acre, and you will soon know how to set the machine to your walk, and never fail to get just the amount you want to the acre.

This machine will also sow fertilizer.
(If you want a new laminated card to pin back on your Aero Fiddle, I could post you one at cost,drop me an email.)


I like the bit where you can sow fertilizer with it, and as for broadcasting 5 bushels of oats to the acre, the bag on top of the machine must only hold about half of a bushel.


Father often liked to broadcast by hand, for this he had a kidney shaped deep pan that had two loops and a vertical peg type handle.

This will give you an idea of what a seed pan looks like.It would hold about half hundred weight of grain seed in old money thats 56lbs, or 25Kilos


It had a strap that went over his shoulder onto the loops to carry it in front of him, this allowed him to use both hands swinging one hand then the other as a marching soldier, picking up seed at the front and slinging in a wide ark to distribute the seed with each stride.
Fine seed like kale, it was a finger and thumb job, and with grain, in wet patches where it was too wet to get with the drill, it was hand full's at a time job.


I Remember the Seed Fiddle.

This happened in spring 1944 when I was 6 years old

Father he sowed the grass seed, with an old seed fiddle,
The field across the road, from house was all in stubble,
He filled up his fiddle, with grass seed and clover.
Seed bag as this end marker, his blue jacket at other,

Four yards move the marker, at each end of the bout,
March strait like a soldier, strides even and stout,
He pushed and pulled the bow, with each stride he took,
For the seed must spread thinly, according to the book.

Working all through the morning, half the field is sown
He was heading for the sack, on which he could sit down,
As a little lad to see my dad, went across the field,
Picked up his jacket on the way, look at me I squealed.

On seeing what I'd done, he wasn't very pleased,
He lost his far end marker, and with grass fine seed,
There was no way of telling, where he'd sown up to,
At very early age I learned, what the markers do.

Countyman



It is like the seed put in the soil - the more one sows, the greater the harvest.
Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)