He would get the water from the ditches to the furrows to water the crops using siphon tubes. My Dad's tubes were aluminum. I imagine they have PVC pipe ones now.
These are an incredible tool, but to a five-year-old were difficult to use. You would put the tube in the water, covering both ends with your hands. You would then shake the tube under the water, and then draw one end only out of the water and into the furrow, while the other end stayed below water. If you did it correctly it would create a siphon and water would flow through the tube. I usually had to do this several times to get it right. Usually I would get just a trickle and then have to do it again.
However a few years back, we visited Sheri's Dad in Idaho, and he was irrigating with siphon tubes. I tried my luck, and was successful my first try.
|picture from the internet|