Monday, June 6, 2011

Fieldwork: Picking Rocks

The neatest tool of the rock-picking trade is the yellow skidsteer to the right.  The attachment on the front is a "rock bucket" which is used to dislodge rocks and leave behind the soil.  One person can do it alone, clearing rocks brought to the surface by plowing and chiseling.

Just a smattering of the types of rocks that show up.  Lots are red granite.
In previous years - say, when I was the one picking rocks - three or four of us would walk in front of a tractor and pick up rocks by hand, depositing them in a bucket on the front.  Hot, hard work, and it dug up the fields.  Learned a lot about leverage on a personal level.

That's a lot of planted field, and just a fraction of the 400 tillable acres located at this property in Swanton.   See any rocks out there?  That's the result of years of diligence, sprains, and sunburn.