Toby'shuman - Keep the update stories and photos flowing.
- baring a natural disaster or hit by a driver, what is the average length of time...between stone wall reconstruction (decades) ??
Will do Beaumont67. I was actually out yesterday rebuilding but unfortunately forgot to take my camera, hands full of tools but still, doh.
I have more planned either for today (if the weather clears up) or tomorrow so never fear more pics will be posted.
As for how old the terraces are, well here is what our local museum has to say about it all.
In 718 the Moors invaded this region and began to farm large areas of land most of which (in this area at least) is mountainous. They used terracing techniques to hold back the soil on the sides of the mountain, making platforms on which trees could be planted. (pretty much describes a terrace to be honest). Now if you take the date of invasion to the date of expulsion that would make the walls around 1250 years old. Now that is not to say my walls are this old, however, the Moors were kicked out of this region in 1492 which would make the walls 500 years old at least as they were in situ by the time they left. (recorded in local history books)
On my land I have several trees which the old guys in the village tell me are hundreds of years old. (they are Farga's which notoriously live for a very long time, anything up to 2000 years it is said, so I am not about to argue with those who know about this sort of thing). Now some of the trees sit right against/ on the edge of the walls which means both have been there for a whole parcel of time. At least for the duration of the trees life. Which if you want to take the age of the tree as being 300 years old (scientifically backed up as one fell down during a bad storm and the trunk rings read like a history book for both climatic changes and of course age). It was by no means the largest trunked tree I have on my land, just a shade more unfortunate than the others. Fargas amongst a couple of other types of tree grow enormously thick trunks that twist as they grow which helps in determining their age which means you can pretty much take it as read they are at least 300 years old if not a whole parcel more.
As I repair the walls I have come to realise that I am seeing parts of the land which hasnt been seen since the walls were first erected. My hands handle stones that have been in place for hundreds of years and I find bits of pottery that have lain undisturbed for as long.
I cannot help but marvel at the ingenuity/skill/determination of the men who built the walls that make up my farm. It is truly a phenomenal feat of engineering, it is hard enough for me to simply repair, but to have to dig out the land into the terraces, bank up the soil, build walls, backfill and then plant the trees on them is one heck of an achievement.
My hat goes off to those guys.
Bev, isn't it just so amazing, I can manage to grow weeds and rocks just by sitting here, no matter what the weather, wish I could say the same about the cash crops.