From April until late September or October no rain falls in Israel, and the summer sun bakes the ground hard as a rock. The sower and plowman have to wait until after the soaking rains of October start in order to be able to plant their crop. Plowing before the rains had softened the hard ground would be pointless. Once the autumn rains started falling and the ground softened, planting started.
If a farmer sowed his field just after a rain, many times there were puddles on the ground. The Bible encourages the farmer to sow anyway, saying, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccles. 11:1). The seed the farmer throws to the ground is called “thy bread” because it was the very food that the farmer and his family ate. Each harvest the farmer had to make the tough decision of how much grain to eat, and how much to save as seed for the next planting. If the harvest was slim, the family would be hungry, and they would tearfully sow into the ground the grain that they would like to have baked and eaten.
Nevertheless, they sowed the seed in the dirt, hoping that they would rejoice the next year at a larger harvest. Scripture reflects this basic aspect of farm life when it says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Ps. 126:5). In the autumn the dutiful farmer would cast his seed upon the puddles of water, hoping that in the spring of the year, “many days” away, he would “find” his bread again, in the form of a bountiful harvest."
Bible Manners & Customs by Rev. G.M. Mackie, M.A, 1898.