The Doodad

The backstory goes like this…Big Boss lost his dad in a farm accident back in the late ’80s.  Grandpa was just north of the feedlot working on a new government regulation…yes, that’s where our dislike of regulations began.   He was in the dirtmover, a gigantic piece of equipment that is used in heavy construction. It turned over on him and killed him instantly.  In that instant, BB’s role on the farm changed and he became responsible for many things and people.  One of which was corn planting which was/is a bit more complicated than just putting the seed into the dirt.

Moisture conditions have to be right.  Air temp needs to be so so.  Ground temp is important. Seed has to be ordered…certain varieties for certain pieces of land and for specific uses.  Fertilizer has to be applied at the right time in the right amounts.  Tractor has to be serviced completely.  Fuel has to be ordered.  Planter has to be serviced also.  Fuel trucks also need to be up to par.  Seed rows spacing needs to be decided on and how close the seeds are to be planted.  And then there is how deep should the corn be in the ground. 

So, BB got all of the preliminary stuff done, planted the corn and THEN started worrying.  Was is too wet?  Was it warm enough to germinate? Was it planted too deep?  Too shallow?  Would it come up AT ALL?  I was sure we would ALL be insane before the confounded corn came up.  Every day, we made a pilgrimage out to the corn fields to check germination.  BB would whip out his pliers, walk out in the middle of the planted field and start digging.  Digging up the corn seeds.  One by one, until I was certain there would not be nary a plant come up anywhere.  The man was digging it ALL up.  I

If he didn’t have pliers, he used his pocket knife.  And if he couldn’t find that, he’d use a screw driver.  He called me one day and said to get out there.  So I jumped into the pickup and took off wondering what calamity had hit us now?!!  As I skidded into the field, he said, “You’ve grown corn before.  The seed is too deep isn’t it?  It’s not going to come up!”  I looked at him like he had lost his mind.  I was now the resident corn planting expert?!!!!  

 I assured him that I had grown corn but it was 4 rows in my garden  and the circumstances were not quite the same.  Well, he was sure it wasn’t going to come up.  I looked him squarely in the eyes and asked him where his faith was.  Not being sure where I was going with my sermon, he said “huh?”.  I told him that G-d had been growing stuff a long time before we came on the scene and He seemed to be doing a pretty good job of it so far, so why didn’t we just let Him continue to do so and see what happened.

Yep, the corn came up.  And I was relieved.  I knew it would but he wasn’t sure about it at all.  The scary part was his dependence on my corn-growing expertise!! But it was a good crop and fed the cattle yet another year.  However, the same thing happened the next year.  Was it going to germinate?  Did he plant it too deep again?  Yikes!!  Out would come the pliers and here we went again.  Digging up seed.

The back side of a Hume Seed Finder at work…look, it found a corn seed that’s kinda greenish. That’s a coating of something that helps it germinate.

And then some really smart man named Hume, invented the little plastic stick that had inches marked on it.  It was called a Hume Seed Finder.  I have various names for it….the DiggerUpper, BB’s plastic thingy…but it’s officially a seed finder.  Who knew a piece of plastic would be so important to so many farmers? They hand these things out at seed suppers, fairs, farm banquets, with seed orders….and you can’t have too many of them because you never know when you might need to dig out some mud from your boots or a horse shoe.  🙂  But they probably wouldn’t be much help getting those nasty boots off. Or on. Yeah, it’s called a seed finder. Mr. Hume has made a fortune off this plastic doodad and I thank him profusely.  It’s kinda like a pacifier for farmers.   It helps them dig and find the seed at hopefully the correct depth.  If not, the planter needs adjusted.  But believe me when I say, the corn WILL come up.  Eventually.

Remember those nine months required for a child to be born?  Same principle.  Less time.  Lucky farmers…

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