Planting History

In the spring, farmers planted corn in rows about 40 inches apart, wide enough for a horse to walk between rows and far enough apart so the corn could be easily picked by hand. But how did the farmer put the corn seeds in the ground?

harvey pickrel“Years ago I remember my father, when he planted corn…he would string wires from one end of the field to the other, and then they had little knobs on that wire. Every time it hit a knob it would trip the mechanism and it would drop either two or three kernels of corn. You had to make the rows 40 inches wide because you had to have that for a horse to walk in.” —Harvey Pickrel

A farmer planting corn.

A farmer planting corn.

Written by Claudia Reinhardt.

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