I really don’t think Amy MacDonald was thinking about agriculture when she wrote the lyrics of the ‘Mr Rock and Roll’ song. But, when you spend two mornings picking up stones to clear a field, you do feel like the title. Not in an egotistical sense, but more that you have just shifted more than a 100 stones and that you have a step count higher than a cricketer getting a century.
Maybe it’s time Rock Chick got a new image? Not a jumping up and down at a festival or singing along in a studio, but a ‘dancing in a boiler suit, on her own and no, she doesn’t care’ image.
A field of stones can be daunting. The field is not massive, but in terms of stone picking, it’s only slightly up from finding a needle in a haystack.
How to deal with the task? Focus on the road we’re building, not the field we’re clearing. This is not the first (or sixth) time I have been over clearing stones since it got ploughed last summer. Several trailer loads have been shifted. But there is still more. Shifting stones gives you time to think. It’s a good time to process events. Have epiphanies. Keep forgetting the lines to the third verse of a catchy song. And become an expert out standing in your field (sorry, but you must have known that was coming!).
I can now tell you the current terroir and climate are perfect for the job. The ground isn’t frozen, the soil isn’t too muddy, the ground isn’t rock hard. The grass/weeds haven’t swamped the stones, there are no midgies. So what better way to spend my time. It will help improve the soil. The cows (and tractor implements) will be thankful (well, we’ll be thankful they haven’t been damaged by stones). It will help access all the trees we have planted. It makes you appreciative of things such as the Romans, muscle rub and hot baths.