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No farmhouses

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wisepilgrim

Camino App Maker
Time of past OR future Camino
Many
And in Galicia, you will find a completely different arrangement to the very large farms mentioned above. Inheritance laws have for centuries made the parcels smaller and smaller; some are just a few meters wide. So here you will find a patchwork of farms that look more like gardens and all on land which is technically too small for the farmer to build a house.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I recall on my first camino observing the change from a village hub system to one where houses started to appear on separate farms, somewhere shortly after Sarria. Perhaps I walked at a time of year where it was obvious further west that farmers drove out in tractors or cars to where they were going to work for the day. I found this fascinating, coming from a country where farming families live on their land, and getting to where one is going to work is largely internal to the farm. However, there are many seasonal farm jobs where itinerant workers will find accommodation in a town and travel out to local farms where they will work.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Of course in olden days, a town provided more security and defense and animals were often housed in the lower level while the family Lived and slept above. In the US families might have been required to live on or "homestead" a piece of property to gain title so isolated farmhouses may be more common for that reason.
 
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xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
On my first Camino, i asked a farmer why he did not live out on his farm and he looked at me like I was crazy. "Why would i do that?, he replied. I want to be with my friends and relatives , not alone surrounded by fields". Don't our Luddites in America and Canada do the same thing?
 

Zordmot

3rd CF in May 2022
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2022
Especially in the first half of the CF (starting in SJPDP) farming looks like what farming looks like these days in the great midwest of the US. Instead of individual farmers working the land you see professionals using expensive large machinery managing multiple large tracts that belong to families no longer farming it themselves.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I remember an early morning stop for coffee in a village when a farmer emerged from his garage in a bright green Lamborghini, Lamborghini tractor that is🚜🚜
I was very surprised on the camino that Lamborghini built tractors too. The story is Lamborghini, once successful, bought a number of high end cars. While he was a good mechanic, he was a bad driver and was hard on the clutch. He either complained to Ferrari or offered an unwelcome suggestion and got an insult in return which resulted in a new car company being created.

 
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LesR

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I recall on my first camino observing the change from a village hub system to one where houses started to appear on separate farms, somewhere shortly after Sarria. Perhaps I walked at a time of year where it was obvious further west that farmers drove out in tractors or cars to where they were going to work for the day. I found this fascinating, coming from a country where farming families live on their land, and getting to where one is going to work is largely internal to the farm. However, there are many seasonal farm jobs where itinerant workers will find accommodation in a town and travel out to local farms where they will work.
In Australia, the right to build and live on a house on the farm is generally part of the bundle of property rights associated with owning that farming land.

Not so in some other parts of the world, I gather.

There may be planning/regulatory restrictions (national or regional) on living on-farm, there may be practical issues, there may also be historical/cultural impediments...
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
In Australia, the right to build and live on a house on the farm is generally part of the bundle of property rights associated with owning that farming land.
We could highjack this thread discussing the development of our current systems of land use and property 'rights'. Where I live, the ACT, is a microcosm of this, starting with legal settlement east of the Murrumbidgee, illegal squatting west of that, the early attempts to break up the large grazing properties at the end of the 19thC, families eking out their lives in unproductive use of the land, post WWI soldier-settler schemes that allocated properties too small to support a family, and much more. Even today, changes are taking place that will make the future look different again. I can only hope we have learned enough to make good choices from amongst the options we have as we go forward.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
We can only live in hope @dougfitz , but if history is taught us anything it isn't always that sensible. Modern farms have tended to aggregate land and move to mass production and technology. Meanwhile we dig up our best soils and cover them in urban sprawl.

I thought the Spainish system, common to a lot of Europe, with farmers living in towns and travelling out to plots to be a logical response to ensuring social cohesion and preserving land for agricultural use. Fond memories of lines of tractors illuminating early mornings in la Rojoa as they drove out to begin the harvest on the Camino. Or the old couple collecting chestnuts in a shack in the forest not too many days walk from Santiago.

Meanwhile back home, I live in my own home in it's glorious social isolation on my land among my walnut orchards... So it isn't referred to as a farm house, rather it's the nut house.
 

LesR

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I was very surprised on the camino that Lamborghini built tractors too. The story is Lamborghini, once successful, bought a number of high end cars. While he was a good mechanic, he was a bad driver and was hard on the clutch. He either complained to Ferrari or offered an unwelcome suggestion and got an insult in return which resulted in a new car company being created.


For those of you amused by the thought of a Lamborghini tractor you might want to check out "Clarkson's Farm" on amazon prime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarkson's_Farm. A Lamborghini tractor is prominently featured.
Closer to the Camino - I have seen one or two whilst walking - from (vague) memory, one on each of CF (probably somewhere around O Cebreiro) and on CP...

1658785285714.png
 
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xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Closer to the Camino - I have seen one or two whilst walking - from (vague) memory, one on each of CF (probably somewhere around O Cebreiro) and on CP...

View attachment 130065
Tractors are everywhere on farms on the Primitivo, BUT so are lots of BIG Horses! Never saw any equipment for the horses to pull, so are they like the horses on the Frances--Meat Horses? Too big to be riding horses and much bigger than the horses our Amish use for plowing fields.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
On my first Camino, i asked a farmer why he did not live out on his farm and he looked at me like I was crazy. "Why would i do that?, he replied. I want to be with my friends and relatives , not alone surrounded by fields". Don't our Luddites in America and Canada do the same thing?
Luddites? Having seen the size of the combine harvesters that stalk the Saskatchewan prairies I'd say Canadian farmers are far removed from being Luddite!
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I talked some years ago to the museum/church employee in Carrión de los Infantes. She told me that the mechanization o agriculture drove away many laborers, and young people migrate to medium and big cities...."mostly the old people remain here", she told me resignedly.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
We could highjack this thread discussing the development of our current systems of land use and property 'rights'. Where I live, the ACT, is a microcosm of this, starting with legal settlement east of the Murrumbidgee, illegal squatting west of that, the early attempts to break up the large grazing properties at the end of the 19thC, families eking out their lives in unproductive use of the land, post WWI soldier-settler schemes that allocated properties too small to support a family, and much more. Even today, changes are taking place that will make the future look different again. I can only hope we have learned enough to make good choices from amongst the options we have as we go forward.
……or we could decide not to hijack this thread…….
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
A fellow walker pointed out to me that despite the large number of farms we passed, there were few - actually no - farm houses on the properties. So for weeks after, to León anyways, I would search for farmhouses on those big farms and come up empty.
Where are the farmers?
Most of what I saw this spring looked like large commercial farms with thousands of hectares under cultivation, especially in areas of grain (barley, wheat and occasionally oats) and grape production. Wedged in between the commercial giants there were smaller farm units or “plots” owned by individual families looking to do more local/subsistence farming. I chatted to one tractor driver who rented out his tractor and time to the smaller farms who couldn’t afford a tractor of their own. In the current global economic model farms have to be a certain size in order to be commercially viable.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @puttster Yes its an interest concept. I noted something similar in Turkey back in 2009. Upon questioning I was advised that its a two edged sword: one the land area is relatively speaking small in size so maximum use is made of every square metre; the other aspect was the idea of community. The villagers like being near to each other, especially when they have older parents living near by who need someone who can look in on them most days. For Spaniards there is the other aspect of attending Sunday Mass, for those still practicing Catholics, or Friday at the Mosque for those of the Islamic faith. Great post. Cheers.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Most of what I saw this spring looked like large commercial farms with thousands of hectares under cultivation, especially in areas of grain (barley, wheat and occasionally oats) and grape production. Wedged in between the commercial giants there were smaller farm units or “plots” owned by individual families looking to do more local/subsistence farming. I chatted to one tractor driver who rented out his tractor and time to the smaller farms who couldn’t afford a tractor of their own. In the current global economic model farms have to be a certain size in order to be commercially viable.
It seemed to me that in Rioja, the pattern of weed/insecticide spraying in what looked like one large vineyard indicated that this wasn't a single, monolithic holding, but rather a collection of smaller individual plots separately owned and managed. An alternative explanation is that one person owned and managed several disjoint sections of the vineyard. Or there could have been a mix of both these patterns.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
In many parts of Spain the farmers live in villages and travel out to their farms. That makes sense historically; there is safety in numbers. But I also noticed a difference between regions. In Galicia there seem to be more farmhouses.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
In Galicia , according to my daughter [ so I might be wrong ] when the last parent dies the farm is to be divided equally between all children. My wife then got involved and mentioned if Galicia and Ireland are first cousins do the same inheritance laws exist that we came across years ago , that the female siblings are not included in the breakup of the land ?

As i have said previously the home with the beaten up cars , tractors and utes outside a home or cafe / restaurant in any village is where you have your meals at lunch time. Home cooked for the workers .
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
In Galicia , according to my daughter [ so I might be wrong ] when the last parent dies the farm is to be divided equally between all children. My wife then got involved and mentioned if Galicia and Ireland are first cousins do the same inheritance laws exist that we came across years ago , that the female siblings are not included in the breakup of the land ?

As i have said previously the home with the beaten up cars , tractors and utes outside a home or cafe / restaurant in any village is where you have your meals at lunch time. Home cooked for the workers .
The division between all children only happens in Ourense province. In the other three provinces, one of them gets most of the land (including the house), under the condition that he (or she) must be a farmer. In case of two or more candidates, the parents decide who is the "mellorado/a" (improved). If nobody wants to be a farmer, then the property is devided among all.
 
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The division between all children only happens in Ourense province. In the other three provinces, one of them gets most of the land (including the house), under the condition that he (or she) must be a farmer. In case of two or more candidates, the parents decide who is the "mellorado/a" (improved). If nobody wants to be a farmer, then the property is devided among all.
How nice to hear from you, @Pelegrin. I was hoping that you would notice the thread and contribute some of your local knowledge.

Like numerous other pilgrims, I occasionally made comparisons between the structure of fields and villages along the Camino Francés and what I was familiar with from "home". I very much enjoyed looking at the green pattern of Galicia with what appeared to me to be smallish fields and meadows, neatly limited and separated from each other. Along a section of the Camino Francés in Castilla y Leon I noticed what appeared to me to be very large fields - I am bad at estimating, so I cannot say how many hectares they had. I wondered who owned them. A forum member helpfully sent me a link about latifundios and minifundios and I've tried to learn a bit more about this.

I grew up in a village of about 800 inhabitants. In the 1950s, nearly every family was a farmer family and of course they all lived in the village. Nowadays, there are perhaps about 3 full-time farmers left in the village who own or lease most of the agricultural land (including the one field that I have inherited ☺️). Some land is still used by their owners who, however, have a different main job and work only in the evenings or on Saturdays on their land, or who are pensioners. Due to inheritance laws and/or traditions similar to what you describe for Galicia, individual fields had also been split many times at each succession and had become tiny and fragmented. In the 1960s, there was a large scale land reform that changed this. I understand that there have been similar attempts in parts of Spain, known as Concentración parcelaria?
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
How nice to hear from you, @Pelegrin. I was hoping that you would notice the thread and contribute some of your local knowledge.

Like numerous other pilgrims, I occasionally made comparisons between the structure of fields and villages along the Camino Francés and what I was familiar with from "home". I very much enjoyed looking at the green pattern of Galicia with what appeared to me to be smallish fields and meadows, neatly limited and separated from each other. Along a section of the Camino Francés in Castilla y Leon I noticed what appeared to me to be very large fields - I am bad at estimating, so I cannot say how many hectares they had. I wondered who owned them. A forum member helpfully sent me a link about latifundios and minifundios and I've tried to learn a bit more about this.

I grew up in a village of about 800 inhabitants. In the 1950s, nearly every family was a farmer family and of course they all lived in the village. Nowadays, there are perhaps about 3 full-time farmers left in the village who own or lease most of the agricultural land (including the one field that I have inherited ☺️). Some land is still used by their owners who, however, have a different main job and work only in the evenings or on Saturdays on their land, or who are pensioners. Due to inheritance laws and/or traditions similar to what you describe for Galicia, individual fields had also been split many times at each succession and had become tiny and fragmented. In the 1960s, there was a large scale land reform that changed this. I understand that there have been similar attempts in parts of Spain, known as Concentración parcelaria?
Yes, but many of them (Concentracion parcelaria) failed because some farmers didn't agree with the result and the part they had.
This month I visited the Black Forest (Shwarzwald) with my mountain group, doing easy routes on a beatiful scenario.
The area has still many farmhouses. They were at that time spreading the cut grass to dry it before storing. This grass is used in winter to feed the local cow breed (hinterwälder). Also, there are many hotels in buildings that were farms in the past. I realized that my room was in what was a stable because its floor was lower than the one in the dining room.
 

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