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Fields of rocks

Time of past OR future Camino
frances
Walking along the CF I see so many of the farming fields are full of rocks. It seems to me they would be pretty tough on the equipment so I wonder if there is a good reason for leaving them in the fields.
1658522307341.png
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
They do act a bit like mulch keeping the water underneath and in their shade from evaporating as fast as in bare soil.

A couple of our daily walks in New England take us past corn fields where it looks like the pebbles in the picture you sent are the seeds for the Yankee rocks grown by the local farmers for use in their stone fences.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - A Rua, Frances, Invierno (2012 - 2022)
Most of Spain has poor soil, sandy and full of stones. Removing them is very labour - intensive, and ultimately fruitless as the earth will constantly bring fresh layers to the surface. Spanish farmers have learned to live with them.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
They rise up to the surface with successive ploughings. In my part of Kent they used to collect the flint stones to build houses:

1658527275565.png

but then mass produced brick became available so you now see a bumper crop come up every year:

1658527754536.png
 
Time of past OR future Camino
frances
If the rocks constantly rise up to the surface and don't get removed then the rocks in my pic may have been there for many, maybe even hundreds, of years? Dang.
 
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LesR

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Walking along the CF I see so many of the farming fields are full of rocks. It seems to me they would be pretty tough on the equipment so I wonder if there is a good reason for leaving them in the fields.
possibly still there because it is impractical and uneconomic to remove them... and ploughing machinery can be hard-surfaced to better deal with abrasive soils.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Walking along the CF I see so many of the farming fields are full of rocks. It seems to me they would be pretty tough on the equipment so I wonder if there is a good reason for leaving them in the fields.
where was the picture taken, puttster?
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
This is a job for an agriculturist. To improve soil like this, it can take generations. The only way to do it is to either remove the stones and /or add soil. To add soil, there has to be a place where top soil is not required, then move and spread it. The other option is to introduce plant matter, roll it in and allow it to compost, add to the soil that is there. This is one reason why fields will lay fallow, (unplanted with harvestable produce), for up to several years, so, when tilled again, all plant life is worked into the soil to add to its volume as well as increase nutrients. Adding manure and all other fertilizers is a given. Removing stones can be done by machinery but is specialized and expensive.

Mention was made that moisture may be retained under stones. Well, stones heat up, being solid, much faster than soil, so, any soil will dry out faster because of the rocks and stones.
 
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Sue127

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal May 23
This is a job for an agriculturist. To improve soil like this, it can take generations. The only way to do it is to either remove the stones and /or add soil. To add soil, there has to be a place where top soil is not required, then move and spread it. The other option is to introduce plant matter, roll it in and allow it to compost, add to the soil that is there. This is one reason why fields will lay fallow, (unplanted with harvestable produce), for up to several years, so, when tilled again, all plant life is worked into the soil to add to its volume as well as increase nutrients. Adding manure and all other fertilizers is a given. Removing stones can be done by machinery but is specialized and expensive.

Mention was made that moisture may be retained under stones. Well, stones heat up, being solid, much faster than soil, so, any soil will dry out faster because of the rocks and stones.
I agree with all, except the last sentence. Turning over largish stones in my field this morning, the soil underneath was definitely damper than that to the side. How labour intensive it would be to remove those in the picture and next year, more would be ploughed up.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, 2014
Portugés Coastal from Porto, May 2016
I agree with all, except the last sentence. Turning over largish stones in my field this morning, the soil underneath was definitely damper than that to the side. How labour intensive it would be to remove those in the picture and next year, more would be ploughed up.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
frances
Picture is one of several taken on the meseta among bean, wheat sunflower and other plants. I see what you're thinking - maybe they are put or kept intentionally, to keep the soil from blowing away in the wind.
Also, I wonder if the rocks add trace amounts of minerals to the soil every time it rains. Or like OBJ says, maybe they retain heat meseta gets into the 40s at night in June.
I find it hard to believe they cannot be removed with some pretty simple equipment -dozens of implements for this purpose can be seen with a simple search - so there must be a benefit of some kind.
 
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Philtration

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2021

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I agree with all, except the last sentence. Turning over largish stones in my field this morning, the soil underneath was definitely damper than that to the side. How labour intensive it would be to remove those in the picture and next year, more would be ploughed up.
Yes, large, deep stone will maintain some moisture, not like in the Author supplied photo, purely due to their depth, inability of the Sun to heat the stone to that depth, but large stones are plow breakers and crops would work harder to find that moisture deeper down.
 

Sue127

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal May 23
Agree, I don't have a plough, so no problem there, mainly grazing.
Yes, large, deep stone will maintain some moisture, not like in the Author supplied photo, purely due to their depth, inability of the Sun to heat the stone to that depth, but large stones are plow breakers and crops would work harder to find that moisture deeper dow
 

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