Weather Forecast


They call him the tiller man, and he wants to help military families

Most springs, Barry Padelford tills gardens in exchange for beer. This year, he wants to till in service of his country.

Padelford, a Farmington resident, is offering his tilling service this May to any military family who could use a little help getting their garden ready for growing season. He calls the effort Tilling for the Troops.

"He wanted to do this just to say thank you for serving your country," said Barry's wife, Donna. "He thought it would be nice if we can do something for these women who are stuck at home but can't till, or don't have the strength to run a tiller or money to rent a tiller."

Barry served in the Navy from 1968 to 1972.

Barry said he's thought for a few years about offering his help to families who have a loved one deployed overseas. But the last couple of years his tiller has been broken. This year, he found a neighbor who was willing to help out and decided to put the offer out there and see if anyone took him up on it.

"It's something to do for the troops," Padelford said. "I love tilling. I don't like talking on the phone. I like driving truck and I like tilling."

Padelford can't start new gardens because the tiller can't break up existing grass but he can get existing gardens ready to go or can start new gardens if the gardener can find someone to get rid of the grass. Padelford is a long-haul trucker. He'll be in town the week of May 2 and said he'll do as many gardens as he can during that time.

Padelford is known among friends and family as the man to see for tilling. He's got a 1961 tractor tiller.

"They call me the tiller man because I do a lot of tilling," he said. "I usually till for beer."

Anyone interested in having their garden tilled can call Padelford at 612-518-4870.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606