In Bible times, various means of sowing seed were used. Sowers might carry a bag of seed tied across the shoulder and around the waist; others would form a pouch for the seed in a part of their outer garment. They would then disperse the seed by hand, using long sweeping motions. Because the fields were cut through with hard-packed footpaths, the sower had to make sure that the seed landed on good soil. Seed was covered as soon as possible so that the birds did not eat it.