Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wheel hoe useful tool in garden

Everything old is new again. I’m speaking of my Planter Jr. or scuffle hoe, which my granddad and dad used in our garden for all those years.

When they were gone and my mom and I decided to have a garden we got out the two scuffle hoes.

We had two because one had a blade for loosening up the dirt and the other was used to take out the weeds.

There were other blades for other jobs, but we never used them because we didn’t know what each was for.

Besides, I didn’t want to attempt changing them.

I mention this because the newspaper had a recent story on this gentleman who has developed what he’s named “Planter Whizbang.”

It’s identical to our Planter Jr., except it has wire wheels instead of plain steel ones.

He adapted it from the century-old wheel hoe, which is what our Planter Jr. is.

Our antique was used for many years by backyard gardeners as well as those who raised onions and other things on the muck.

I imagine it went out of use when the gas-powered tillers came along.

The first rototillers I remember came with s six, eight or perhaps 10 blades that dug up your garden so that it would be ready to plant.

My dad bought two of them, so the Planter Jrs. went up in the barn to be stored and forgotten.

When my mom and I decided to try veggie gardening we had a friend come and till the garden with his Toro.

Soon weeds started to invade, we dug out the Planter Jrs. and started using them.

I remember one evening after supper out working in my garden and my neighbor, who was in his early 20s at the time asking me what that “thing” was I was using. I realized a generation had come up that wasn’t knowledgeable on gardening tools. That had to be at least 20 years ago.

Now we have the gentleman from Moravia who has re-introduced the wheel hoe.

The original was made by the S. L. Allen Company in the 1890s and early 1900s in America.

hey are now being built as the Planter Whizbang and sold all over the country as well as foreign countries.

Whether its called “Planter Whizbang,” or Morrisville State’s “Mo Hoe,” it’s still a scuffle hoe.

Among our tools was a two-wheel scuffle hoe. I didn’t know what it was used for.

The handle was gone and it was outside gathering rust for years. During village cleanup days, years ago I put it out with the trash.

One day while I was at work a well-known gentleman who was known for collecting antiques came into the office and thanked me for the two-wheel scuffle hoe I had placed at the curb.

He told me he had been looking for one of those for a long time and remembered his father having one working in the muck.

Our Planter Jr. might be an antique, but it remains a useful tool and won’t be discarded anytime soon.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

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